Skip to main content

Full text of "Three Courses and a Dessert: Comprising Three Sets of Tales, West Country ..."

See other formats


Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



^ 



THREE COURSES AND A DESSERT: 



€\m ^rte iif Cabs, 

W^ST COUNTBT, IRISH, AND LBOALj 
AMD A U2LAN0E. 



WITH FIFTY ILLUSTRATIOHB 

BT GEORGE CEUIXSHAII. 



it dowB tnd foed, mi wetcomB to oni table." 



LONDON: 
BELL & DALDT, 6, TOBK BTREBT, COTENT GABDEH, 






HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY 

BEQUEST OF 

WINWARO PRCSCOn 

JANUARY 27, 1933 



THREE COURSES AND A DESSERT. 



INDUCTION. 

The purveyor of the ensuing apology for a ''feast of 
reason," takes leave to greet his guests with a hearty, but 
respectful, welcome. It would be in bad taste for him to 
dilate at his threshold upon what he has provided for their 
entertainment : his brief biU of fare will presently be laid 
before them. 

He ventures to indulge a hope, that his repast will 
prove obnoxious to none, and, in some degree, gratifying 
to many; that those who may discover nothing to their 
taste in one course, will meet with something piquant in 
another ; tiiat no one 

" Will drag, at each kxxotx, a lengthening chain ; ** 

and, that even if the dishes be disliked, the plates^ at least, 
wiU please : but he feels bound to state, that whatever 
faults the decorations may be chargeable with, on the 
score of invention, he, alone, is to blame, and ZMt Mr. 
Gfeorge Cruikshank; to whom he is deeply indebted for 



IKDOCTION. 

having embellished hia rude eketches in their transfer to 
wood, and translated them into a proper pictorial state, to 
moke their appearance in public. Th^ have neceasarily 
acquired a value, which they did not intrinsically possess, 
in passing through the hands of that distinguished artbt ; 
of whom it may truly, and on this occasion especially, ho 
said, Quod tetigit, oenattt. 

Having thus, perhaps rashly, presented himself at the 
bar of puUic opinion, conscious as he feels of his own 
demerits, he can only throw himself on ibs liberality of hia 
judges, and plead for a lenient sentence. 



BILL OF FARE. 



EiBST CoTTBSE : — ^We8t Cquittbt CH»OiaCI.E8. 

Introduction 11 

SirMathewAle 18 

lite Coiinterpart Consins 17 

GMldy Cuddle 37 

The Braintrees . . ; 03 

The Sham Fight 103 

The Bachelor's Darling 120 

Hahakkuk Bullwrinkle 159 



/ 



Second CouBgs : — ^Nsigbboqb8 ot an Old Lush Bot. 

Introduction 177 

Jimmy Fitzgerald 178 

The Native and the Odd Fish 185 

Timberleg Toe-trap 198 

BatBoroo ; 206 

The "Witch's Switch 214 

The Weed Witness 225 

The Flying Dutchman 233 

The Nest Egg 239 

Under the Thumb 245 

Our Tommy 252 

TheDentifit , • . . i 257 

The Mushroom 262 

The Dillosk Girl 278 

Thibd Cousse : — ^Mt Cousin's CuBNrg. 

Introduction 301 

Adam Burdock * . . . 303 

The Mathematician 305 

The Little Black Porter 347 



The Dsssbbt. 



luttoductioii . 
The Deaf Postilion . 
Coitjngittuig B Verb 
Foethomoua Praise 
The D(M-&-dos Tet«-a-t£te 
A Toad in a Hole 
The Pair of Fuinps 
Wauled a Partner 
HandBome Hanu.^ , ■ 
Misled b; a Nune 
The Lut Man 



FIRST COUESE: 



WEST COUNTEY CHEONICLES. 



"WEST COUNTRY CHRONICLES. 



IHTBODUCTION. 

Tkb true dd Engliih sqiHT« is now nearly extinct ; a few 
■dmirable spedmens of the class flourighed a few years ago in 
the we«tem counties; from the discourae and memoranda of 
one of the most excellent of these, the substance of the following 
narratives was gleaned. For my introduction to, and subsequent 
acquaintance with, the worthy old gentleman, I tras indebted to 
the delinquency of a dog. Carlo was moat exemplary in bis 
ponctuatiim ; he would quarter and back in the finest style ima* 
ginable ; no dog cculd be more staunch, steady, and obedient to 
hand and voice, while there was no- living mutton at hand : but 
no sooner did be cross a sheep-track, break into view of a fleece, 
or even bear the tinkling bell (a dinner bell to him) of a distant 
flock, than he would bolt away, aa rectilinearly as the crow flies, 
towards his lavourite prey, in spite of the: most peremptory com- 
mands, or the smack of a whip, with the flavour of which his back 
was intimately acquainted. I had been allowed a very fair trial of 
the dog ; hut, nn&rtunately, no opportujuty occmred, previously 
to his becoming my property, of shooting over him near a sheep- 
walk. His behavioor was so excellent in Kent, that I never iva» 



12 IKTROSHCTIOK. 

more astoniahed in my life, than when I beheld him seyerelj 
shaking a sheep b; the haunch, the first time we went out toge- 
ther in Somerset. Unable to obtain a substitute, and hoping that 
his vice would not prore incurable, I was compelled, most indig- 
nantlj and unwillinglj, to put up with his offences for three days. 
On the morning of the fourth", he suddenly broke forward from 
heel, and went off at full speed before me : aware, by expe- 
rience, of what was about to take place, I lifted the piece to my 
shoulder, and should, most assuredly, have tickled his stmt, had 
he not dashed over the brow of a little hillock, so rajndly, that it 
was impossible to cover him with my Manton. On reaching the 
brow of the acclivity, I Baw him, in the Talley below, with his 
teeth entangled in the wool of a wether ; and a sturdy old pNSOD, 
in the garb of a sportsman, belabonring him over the back with 
an enormous cudgel. The individnal, who inflicted this whole- 
some castigation on the delinquent, offered to cure him for me 
of his propensity. I gratefully accepted the ofF» ; and thus be- 
came acquainted with that Sue specimen of the old-fashioned 
gentlemen of England, Sir Mathew Ale, of Little Redland Hall, 
Baronet, — (whose grounds I was crossing, on my way to a manor 
over which I had the privilege of shootfaig,) — by means of « 
rascally dog, that had a fancy for killing his own mutten. 



SIR MATHEW ALE. 

It was a questioB, evea with mj fiiend the Baronet himself, 
whether, aa some of the genealogists asserted, his respectable an- 
ceafeors were related to the illustrious judge, who, with the exception 
of anaapisaie, was his namesake : but if, as the old gentleman said, 
he had none of the eminent lawyer's blood flowing in his veins, a 
&et of mueh. greater importance was indisputable ; — ^he possessed, 
without tibe shadow of a doubt, that great man's mug, — ^the capa- 
doiis Teasel ftom which he was wont to quaff huge and inspiring 
dnuigfat9 of the king of all manly beyerages, " nut-brown ale.** 
The pitcherj — to which i^pellation its size entitled it, — " filled 
with the foaming blood of Barleycorn ** from ten to fifteen years 
of age, imrariably graced my firiend's old oaken table, during 
our frequent festiye meetings. There was a strong likeness, in 
the outUne of Sir Mathew*s mug, when full of the frothing 
liquor in which he delighted, to his "good round belly,** his 
ruddy &€e, and his flowing wig. It was highly valued by the old 
gentleman, while he ^ lived; and is looked upon with a kind of 
reverential love, by those to whom he endeared himself by his 
good qualities, as ihe only likeness of him extant, now that he 
is dead. 

Sir Mathew was an enthusiastic admirer of the customs of 
merry old England, and especially attached to those of " the 
West-Countrie.** Bom in Devon, and living, as he said, with one 
foot in Gloucester and the other in Somerset, he had acquired a 
greater knowledge of the qualities, habits, and feelings of the 
people who dwelt in two or three of the '* down-a-long** shires, 
than most men of his day. He was well versed in their supersti- 
tions, their quaint customs, and theur oddities ; — an adept in their 
traditionary lore, and acquainted with most of the heroes who 
had figured in their little modem romances of real life. A 
large portion of his time had been absorbed in making collections 
for a System of Rustic M3rthology, a Calendar of West Country 
Customs, and in perfecting his favourite work, — ^the Apotheosis of 
John Barleycorn. The ensuing pages are devoted merely to a 
few circumstances which fell under his own observation ; with the 



14 SIS MATHEW ALE. 

characters in tlie narratives, he was, personally, more or less 
acquainted : the auto-biography of the obese attorney, Habakkok 
Bullwrinkle, is faithfully transcribed from the original manu* 
script, in Sir Mathew*s possession. 

Sir Mathew frequently declared, that nearly all the sapersti" 
tions of the people, relating to charms and tokens, were, as he 
knew by experience, founded in truth. He had, at one time, 
been a staunch believer in the power of the •'dead man's candle ** 
to prevent those, who are sleeping in the house where it is lighted, 
from waking until it is burned out, or extinguished : but latterly 
Sir Mathew thought proper to intimate that his belief in the 
efficacy of the charm had been, in some degree, staggered. A 
malicious wag, in the neighbourhood, propagated a tale, which, if 
true, accounts naturally enough for the change m Sir Mathew's 
opinion upon this point. Whenever an eminent burglar happened 
to be imprisoned in either of the neighbouring gaols, it was th6 
Baronet's custom, for a number of years past, as the story went, 
to consult the criminal, as a high authority, on the virtue of the 
mystic light in house-breaking. The result of his inquiries in- 
duced him to repose so much faith in the charm, that, in order 
to set the question beyond a doubt, he determined on making ft 
midnight entry into the house of a dear friend ; who, he knew, 
neither kept fre-arms, nor would, for a moment, suspect him, 
even if discovered and taken in the fact, of being actuated by 
burglarious motives. With the assistance of a lecturer on anatomy, 
who lived in a neighbouring town, and a clever joumeymaa^tallow- 
chandler. Sir Mathew made ^'a dead man*s Candle,** secundum 
artem ; armed with which, he penetrated into his friend's pantry, 
regaled himself very heartily on some cold beef, and a bottle of 
stout ale, and finding that his proceedings had not caused the least 
alarm, he daringly made a great deal of unnecessary noise. His 
friend and the servants were at length roused : in his hurry to get 
off undetected. Sir Mathew's candle was extinguished ; and during 
the darkness, his dear friend, and Jacob, his dear friend's butler, 
thrashed hin so unmercifully, that, although his fears endowed 
him with sufficient agility to effect a retreat, he could scarcely 
crawl home ; and was confined to his bed, by a very mysterious 
indisposition, for more than a week. 

Sir Mathew stoutly denied the truth of this impeachment : he 
admitted that he was a practical man, — an experimentalist in such 
matters ; but he indignantly pleaded " not guilty • to being so 



SIR MATHSW ALB. 15 

cnthiuiaatic a sim^letoa as his jooaee calumniator had represented 
him. The wag, in reply, said ^^ that it was very natural, right 
or wrong, for Sir Mathew to deny the correctness of the story. 
Although the old gentleman is certainly quite simple enough to 
do the deed," added he, " I must needi own, I never suspected 
him of heing such a blockhead as to confess it.*' 

After Hbk, Sir Mathew treated the tale as an ingenious and 
venial invention, and always enjoyed it highly whenever it "was 
subsequent^ related in hh hearing. He would have laughed 
heartily at it, perhaps, if he could ; but he had long been com- 
pelled to drill his features, periodically, into a state of almost in- 
flexible gravity. *'' People who know but little of me,** he would 
say, ^' call me * the man without a smile ;* I pass, with many, for 
a very surly fellow ; unfortunately, I ani often misrepresented, 
and my real character is mistaken, through, what others would 
deem, a trifling affliction : the bane of my life is, that, very fre- 
quently, for a month together, I can*t laugh, and don't dare even 
to indulge in my habitual smirk, because I have an apparently 
incurable and teirificaUy susceptiUe little crack in my Up.** . 

Sir Mathew was ;a most zealous, supporter of the ancient cus- 
toms of the oountiy « He patnuused the sports of a neighbouring 
village fiur, at a considerable expense, until its frequenters almost 
abused him for not giving two pigs with greasy tails to be caught, 
instead of one» He entertained the cobblers of the surrounding 
viUages, annuaUy, with a barrel of strong ale, in order to keep 
up the good old custom of Ciispin's sons draining a horn of malt 
liquor, in which a lighted candle was placed, — ^without singeing 
their faces, if they could, — on the feast of their patron saint : nor 
did he discontinue this practice, even after some of them had 
deqK>]led him of a favourite pair of boots ; until a party of the 
gentle craft, on one occasion, emboldened by beer, stormed his 
iumost cellar, tipped a barrel which he did not intend to have 
broached for half a score of years, and, as he asserted, thickened 
the beer in three others, by their tremendous uproar ! Sir Mat- 
thew's housekeeper, whose two sons were cordwaihers, ventured 
to hint that the beer in those barrels had never been fine ; and 
that, even after the fatal feast day, although certainly a little 
thick, it was fiur from ropy. Sir Mathew vowed, on the contrary, 
that it was ropy enough to hang the whole scoundrelly squad ; 
tsad that he only wished they would give him an opportunity of 
making the experiment. 



16 IlK HAtHBV ALB. 

Sir Mathew wu a decided enemy to duelling ; and most vebc 
mentl; abused the practice of two people popping at each other 
nith tnatola. " If gentlemeo rniiet figbt," he would exclaim, " in 
the name of »li that's old £agliah and maoljr, yrkj not make use 
of the national qaarter-stafF,— as I did, when Peppercorn Vowler 
called me oat, and gave me my choice of weapons F" 

According to traditioii. Sir Mathew was almost a stranger to 
his opponent when the bout between tliem took place ; and much 
to his astooisbment, Peppercorn Yowler gave him an elaborate 
cudgelling. It was whispered, that the fiaronet &lt so indig- 
nant at the result of the quarter-staff conflict, that he sent his 
adyerssiy an inTitation, which was politely declined, to renew 
the fight with pistola. Peppercorn Vowier, it appears, felt even 
a greater aversion to flre-amis than Sir Mathew, and had given 
the latter his chmce of weapons, because he was sure, from the 
inquiries he had made, that Sir Mathew would most certainly 
choose the quarter-staff; in the eiercige of which Feppercom 
Vowler was quite a profioent. 

The Baronet adopted tbe old rustic mode of curing my dog of 
his pTopenBity to mutton : he turned him into a bam, with a 
couple of very powerf\il and evU-dispoeed rams. " PIl warrant," 
said be, as he closed the door, " that the animal will never look 
a sheep in the &ce again." He was certainly right in bis predic- 
tion ; for half an hour afterwards, the dog died under the extra- 
ordinary discipline of the battering rams to which Sir Matbew 
had zealously subjected bim. 



THE COUNTERPART COUSINS. 

Almost every house, in a little village situate in the lower part 
of Somersetshire, near the borders of Devon, was tenanted, two or 
three generations hack, either by a Blake or a Hickory. Indivi- 
duals, of one or the other of these names, occupied all the best 
ferms, and all the minor lucrative posts, in the parish. The shoe- 
maker, the carpenter, the ihatcher, and the landlord of the public 
house, were Blakes; and the parish clerk, the glazier, the tailor, 
and the keeper of " the shop," where almost every thing was sold, 
Hickories. Numerous matrimonial alliances were formed among 
the young people of the two families. As the Blakes were manly, 
and the Hickories handsome, it happened, rather luckily, that the 
children of the former were, for the most part, boys, and those of 
the latter^ giils. If a male child were bom among the Hickories, 
he grew up puny in frame and womanly in features ; and there 
was not an individual, among the few females of the Blake family, 
who did not bear ihe strongly marked features and robust frame, 
characteristic of the race from which she sprang. The yoimg men 
of the house of Hickory were too much like their sisters, to be 
good-looking fellows; and the damsels of the other name resembled 
their brothers too closely, to be beautiful women; they were, 
apparently, stout enough in form, and sufficiently bold in heart, 
had not the days of chivalry been past, to have been esquires to 
"mettlesome knights of hie renown;" while the striplings of the 
other family were more adapted, from their lady-like limbs and 
gentle looks, to be bower-pages to those high-bom dames, for 
whose honour and amusement, their chivalric lords occasionally 
broke each other's pates in the tourney. 

Notwithstanding these disparities, some strong attraction seemed 
to exist between the blood oi the two families ; not only did the 
''manly Kakes** take xmto themsehres wives from among the 
"handsome Hickories, "-^this was natural enough, — ^butthe young 
yeomen of the tribe of HickorjT, intermarried with the spinsterhood 
of the Blakes. Perhaps it was Hobson's choice with the youths, — 
these or none; — ^there being scaicely another name in the village 
except those of the "two great houses" — Hickory and Blake; and 



18 THE COUNTEftPABT COUSINS. 

in those days, but fSew of its young folks travelled far beyond the 
landmarks of their native place. 

The Blakes and Hickories, at length, grew so numerous, that 
the village did not offer sufficient resources for their support, and 
several of them emigrated ; — some to the neighbouring towns, but 
the greater part to the metropolis, where they were soon lost in 
its mighty tide of peculation, which is constantly recruited by 
** supplies from the countiy,'' as the river, whose banks it ennoUes^ ' 
is supported by the tributary streams which eternally flow into its ' 
htige bed. A great number of the descendants of those females 
of the Blake family, who had intermarried vrith Hickories, still 
remained ; but it was in vain to seek for the fine Herculean forms, 
which tradition had assigned to the Blakes, or the surpassing 
beauty, which, according to old tales, was once possessed by the 
female Hickories. It is true, that the features of each family 
were to be seen, scattered among various individuals; but no 
perfect specimen, in the prime of life, of either race, could be 
found. Two or three gaunt fellows, the oldest men in the parish, 
who were issue of the first unions between the two houses, still 
stalked about, with melancholy countenances, thinking but little 
of the present, and more often of the past than the future ; but as 
their fathers had been Hickories, and their mothers Blakes, it was 
said that they did not possess those excellencies of form or feature,. 
which their cousins, who were Blakes by the father's side, and 
Hickories by the mother's, were reported to have been endowed. 

A single individual of the Blake family, in whose veins none 
of the Hickory blood flowed, remained alive; that individual was 
a woman, fettered by age and infirmities, to a chair on the kitchen 
hearth of one of her descendants. Dame Deborah was venerated 
as a relic of old times, rather than beloved. The beings about her 
had come into the world when she was aged ; and those, to whom 
she had given life, had passed away before her; leaving their 
mother to the care of a third generation. To her, those little acts 
of kindness, which are so endearing in the first stage of human 
decay through '' length of days," were rarely performed, because 
she was too withered in mind and feeling to appreciate them. 
She lived among relations, but had no friends. AU her wants 
were scrupulously provided for; but the attentions^ which her 
grand-cluldren and great-grand-children paid her, were acts of 
duty rather than afiection. The days of her glory, even as an old 
woman were over : she had ceased to become a domestic adviser : 



THB COCNTEKPAKT COUSIKf. 10 

tbe last duld she had nursed, for one of her dacnghters, was now 
'< a stout and stalwart " young fellow, neaiiy six feet high ; and 
those, to whom Ae had told tales of other times, when her me- 
mory and hreath were both equal to the task, were getting old 
tfaemsel'res, and beginning to rekte the same chronicles, round the 
kitchen fire^ on winter nights ; generally without acknowledging, 
and often forgetdng, to whom they were inddlyted for that legendary 
kfre, the possession of which so exalted them in the opinions of 
the young. 

From the dark doud, which usually obscured Dame Debon&'s 
mental faculties, a gleam of youthful memory occasionally shot 
up, which much amazed many of her descendants. One evening, 
a warm discussion took place in tiie kitchen where she sat, as to 
the predse ages of Ralph Hickory and his cousin Harry. After 
a world of talk, without an atom of conclusion. Dame Deborah 
placed her hand upon the arm of one of the disputants, and said, 
in a tremulous but distinct tone: "Susanna Hickory, who was 
big Anthony Blake's seventh chOd, and only daughter, and married 
one of the ytfung Hickories of Hickory Hatch, was brought to bed 
of a boy on the second day of our Whitsun revel, the same hour 
diat her cousin Polly had twins, — ^both boys, — ^but only one of 
them lived to be christened. I stood godmother to the two babes. 
Susey's hoy was called Ralph, after my first husband, and Polly's 
after my second goodman, Harry. That' was the year when light- 
ning struck the steeple, and Matty Drew, the witch, was drowned. 
She told the children's fortunes, and said of them,—- 

* Merry meeting— sorry parting ; 
Second greeting — bitter smarting ; 
Third struggle ' 

Dame Deborah could not finish Matty Drew's prediction ; and this 
was the seventh time, within as many years, that she had at- 
tempted to do so, but in vain ; a fit of coughing or abstraction 
invariably sei^ng her on these occasions, before she could arti- 
culate the remainder of the line. The debaters stared with wonder 
on each other at the old dame's unusual fluency ; for she had not 
spoken, except in monosyllables, during many preceding months ; 
and they looked upon it as an omen of Deborah's death, or some 
great calamity to one of her living descendants. On examining 
the church books, they found her account to be correct, so far as 
regarded the baptism of the two boys, and the interment of one of 



20 THS COUNT£BPART COUSINS. 

Polly's twins ; and some of her neighbours recollected that the 
chnrch was struck, as Deborah had related, in the same year that 
Matty Drew was drowned, by a fiurmer and his two sons, who sup- 
posed she had bewitched them and their cattle ; and ducked her, 
under the idea that, if she were a witch, i^e could not be drowned; 
little thinking of the conseqnences to thenjfielves, if she did not 
survive the ordeaL Two of them afterwards fled the country; the 
third was taken and tried. He stated, in his defence, that he had 
reason to beUeve Matty wu a witeh, for her predictions were 
always verified by events ; and that once, when his mother could 
not succeed in her churning, he and his father twisted a hazel 
switch, as tight as their strength would permit, about the chum, and 
behold, at last, in came Matty, shrieking and writhing, as if in agony, 
and beseediing them to nnloose the gad; which, she admitted, was 
sympatheticaUy torturing her own waist He called no witnesses 
to this fact ; and, notwithstanding the ingenious argument which 
his coimsel had written out for him, wherein it was stated that 
^an unlettered clown " might well be forgiven for entertaining the 
same opinions as some of the kings of England, and one of her 
most eminent judges, in old days, the young mian was convicted 
and executed, for acting under an impression that those powers 
existed, for the possession of which, a century before, helpless old 
women were found guilty by twelve of their fellow countr3nnen, 
and doomed, by a strong-minded judge, to be burned; — more than 
one of the <M creatures having crawled, it is said, when led from 
the cold dungeon, to warm their chilled limbs by the fire that was 
kindling to consume them. 

Ralph Hickory and Harry Hickory, the objects of Matty Drew's 
doggrel prophecy, are the heroes of our tale — the Counterpart 
Cousins ; — ^rather alike in disposition, but bearing no resemblance 
to each other in outward appearance. Ralph inherited all the 
strength and height of the Blakes, without their fine form, or the 
handsome features of the Hickories. His shoulders were broad, 
but round, and his neck did not seem to rise exactly in their centre : 
his arms were long, muscular, and well shaped; but his legs were 
crooked, and too brief in proportion to his body. His mater- 
nal ancestor's features were rather of the Roman order, and the 
wags of the viDage said, that Ralph had a Blake's nose run to 
seed :'--it was thin, sharp, and disagreeable. Eveiy body confessed 
that he had the Hickories' merry black eyes; — ^but his mouth 
gaped, and looked like a caricature of their poutmg and slightly 



THS COUKTSSPAftT COUSIirS* 21 

parted lips. The Hickories' teeOi were briUiaiU and pearly ; tha 
Blakes' quite the contrary : — the lips of the former delicately ex- 
hibited their dental treasures; while those of the latter were lo 
close and clenched, that it was difficult to obtain a glance at the 
awkward squad which they concealed. Ra^h unfortunately in- 
herited the bad teeth of the Blakes, and the open lips of the 
Hickories; as well as the fair hair of tlra former, and the dark 
eyes and long black lashes of the latter: so that Ralph was rather 
a singular looking being; — but preciiely, or nearly such a person as 
the reader must ha^e occasionally met with ;~-«zhibit]ng an union 
of some of the beauties, and many of the deformities^ of two or 
three of the tribes of man. 

Harry was very difi^rent in person, but not a jot more beautiful 
than Ralph. His body was broader and more robust than that 
of a Blake, when the family was in a flourishing state; but it was 
remarkably short, and shapeless as a log. His head seemed to be 
squeezed into his shoulders by some giant hand, and his light but 
well-proportioned Hickory legs exhibited a striking contrast ta the 
clumsy bulk of his huge trunk. The bntoher said, that Harry 
would resemble hn big block, with a calf's head on its surface, only 
that it stood on three legs, and Hairy possessed but two. His 
arms were thick, bony and stunted; and his hands of such an 
immense size, that he was often called ''Molepaw" by his compe- 
titors in the wrestling ring. Harry had the large blue eyes of the 
Blake fiunily, and a thick, short, snub nose; which, the good gossips 
said, could be traced to nobody. There was a striking resemblance 
in his other features to the by-gone Hickories: his mouth and chin 
were really handsome; but an unmeanmg smile usually played 
about his lips ; and he had a yacant sort a£ look, that betokened 
good humour allied to silliness. But when Harry's Uood was 
warmed by an angry wcnrd or two and an extra cup of drink, though 
he did not ** look daggers," he frowned fiuiously, and locked, as well 
as talked, broomsticks, cudgels, kicks on the shin-bone, andyarious 
other "chimeras dire." In sudi a mood, Harry was dangerous to 
deal with, and avoided by all those who were peaceably disposed. 

In this particular, Ralph was his counterpart There was not a 
more kind or sociable being in three counties than Ralph Hickory, 
when he was sober ; but liquor made him quarrelsome and rash ; 
it whetted his appetite to giye and receive kicks and bruises ; and 
if he could not rouse any one, by insults and taunting, to wrestle, 
fight, or play a bout at back-sword, or cudgds with him, — ^he lashed 



22 THE COUNTERPAaT COUSINS. 

himself up into a fiiiy, attacked, and eitiier scattered those who 
were about him like cha£^ or got Med by a sturdy thwack of fist 
or cudgel, and festened down until reason returned hand-in^hand 
with shame and remorse. To both of ihe cousins licpior was pure 
Lethe; they never remembered any thing that occurred, from the 
time of iheir passing the rubicmi of intocdcakioB^ until the mom^ 
of their waking the next day. 

Ralph and fiany considered themselves as relations to each 
other, on the credit of certain of the gosaifHng oral genealogists of 
the village, who proved^ in a very roundaiiout way, to their audip 
tors, but entirely to their own eonvictien, that Ralph and Harry 
were, what are called, in the West Country, — second and third 
cousins. Each of them was die ofispiing of a natch between a 
male Hickory and a female Blake ; and both were bad specimens 
of the two fine families, whose more gifted descendants^ in regard 
to personal appearance, the issue of those unions which had 
been formed between ^'the manly BLakes" and *<the handsome 
Hickories," were the individuals who had quitted the village, im> 
pelled by a qmrit of adventure, when ihey felt themselves too 
crowded in their native place, on account of the iaerease of its 
population. 

Hickory was now the paramount name in the parish ; there 
was not a single Blake in its little community, except old Dame 
Deborah, whose boast it had been, when she could babble apace^ 
that she was the last of either of the pure stocks left. She bad often 
stated, in the autumn of her life,— -that season whoi the mind yields 
its richest fruits of memory,~*'that (he good old Blakes began to 
lose the ascendant, from- the time of the battle of CuUoden. It will 
appear strange, that die downfall of the Pretender's forces in the 
north, should be associated, in Deborah's mind, with that of her 
family, whose abiding place iras in the west We will exphua 
this nearly in the old dame's own words : ** On the 16th of Aprils 
in the forty-six, my brother Gilbert,"-— thus her story ran, — "who 
was then an officer in the Duke of Cumberland's dragoons, which 
rank he had attained, partly by money, partly by merit, did such 
service under the great Hawley, against the lads in tartans, that 
he was promised promotion by the fimious Duke, who gave him 
liis pistols, in the field, as an earnest of more favours to come. A 
few days after, while the dragoons were scouring the country, in 
quest of prisoners of consequence, it was whispered, by some who 
envied him, that Gilbert had been won by the honeyed v/ords and 



TRE COUKTSBPAaT COUSINS. 28 

rieh jewels of a noble noriheni la^, to let her husband, whom ha 
had taken, escape. This report reached GHlbert's ears ; and the 
next day, irftile he was mounting his horse, an orderiy came with 
ooauaanda for him to attend the Duke with all speed. Gilbert 
directly drew out his men ; gave some oidsn of importance^ whidi 
were aftcawsrds execoted, and proved veiy beneficial to the service, 
and directed his junior officer to lead the soUiers off to perform 
it: he then stepped aside, and, with one «f the pistoh the Duke had 
given him on the sixteenUt, blew out his brainsl On the veiy 
evening the news arrived of my brathor's death by hia own hand% 
a sad disaster happened to the Blakts >^my father was, that after* 
noon, beatiog an apprentioe, mther too severdiy, perhaps, in a field 
where some of his laboureis were hacking-in wheat ; when one 
who was among them,-«-« little feUow who was not much mote than 
Sfe feet high, hut remaikaUe for his good fiMitiwes and fine form, 
-—left his work, and advancii^ to my tall and powerful father, re- 
proached him, in so insolent a manner, for heating the boy, who 
was a favourite with the labourer, that the bad blood oi the Blakes 
became immediately roused^ and he iniicted a blow or two on the 
man's shoolders witii his ttiekz the f^ilow stepped hack a fow paces, 
and then running against my father at foil speed, drove his head 
into the ^t of the old man% stomaeh with snoh violence, that it 
laid him dead upon the spot I don't know why, or wherefore, 
but true it fis, that the labourer was acquitted oi blame on his trial; 
and he was the first of t^e Hickories known in these parts. The 
same evening, my aunt Elinor, the widow of Frank Cooper, who 
had sailed round the world with Anson, died away in her chair, 
without any previous illness. Had my father been killed an hour 
later, he would have heard of t^ suidde of his son ; and had not 
my aunt Elinor died before sunset, she would have known, that 
both her broths and her nephew had g<me before her to the grave : 
but both of them were saved finom the bittomefls of such news on 
their dying day. From that time, the Blakes dwindled, and the 
Hickories rose. They have matched and mated much since ; but 
it is said, perhaps trufy; that the Hickories are doomed to root out 
the Blakes, and then destroy themsdves ^^they met in the valley 
of death, and blood will be mixed in their stirrup-cup. My grand- 
son Ralph has now more of the Blakes in him than any other 
man; and thick Harry, although he has a double dash of us in 
his veins, is more of a Hickory than any other I know. They are 
both Hickories in name, but not truly so in nature. Ralph looks 



24 THE COUNTERPART COUSINS. 

upon himself, and is looked up to, as the head of ihe poor remnant 
of my father's race ; and Harry is in the same situation, as a de- 
scendant of the labourer, who took his master's life, on that master's 
own land. They have both a great many of the bad qualities, and 
but few of the virtues, of the two fJEunilies ; — ^and I, for one, say — 
God keep them from drinking deep out of the same cup I — ^for 
liquor is likely to be their bane." 

This sort of language was too frequently repeated, and the 
witch Matty Drew's prophecy too often alluded to, by old Deborah, 
in those da3rs when her tongue still talked triumphantly, although 
her limbs were incapable of motion, not to produce a deep and 
lasting impression upon her hearers. One half of the village was 
in a constant state of alarm, after Ralph had returned, a man, from 
the <^ up-along " counties, to which he had departed, a boy, in 
order to learn some improved mode of cultivating land, lest tlie 
two cousins should meet and quarrel in their cups. If they were 
seen in the village, passing a few moments in friendly chat, a 
scout immediately acquainted the parties most interested with the 
circumstance ; and, in a short time, one of them was drawn off, 
by a fictitious story, of lambs tumbling into ditches, cows getting 
their legs entangled in hurdles, or children £allen into fits. 

Ralph and Harry both loved the pastimes of their native place ; 
they could wrestle, and play at back-sword, in very laudable style ; 
but Ralph was the better wrestler, and Harry surpassed in the use 
of the single-stick. Devon being noted for its wrestlers, and 
Somerset for its single-stick players, the cousins were attracted in 
different directions, to enjoy that pastime in which each excelled ; 
so that, up to th& fortieth year of their lives, — ^and they were, as 
it will be remembered, precisely of the same age, — ^they had never, 
much to the satisfaction of their friends, met in the ring as rivals. 
Especial care had always been taken that they did not join the 
same convivial parties; they often attempted to make merry 
together, for Ralph and Hany really felt an affection for each 
other's society, but the women invariably outr-manceuvred them, 
and the two cousins were greater strangers to each other, than 
either of them was to any man else in the village, of his own 
age and station. 

Their forty-first birth-day arrived : Ralph attended a review of 
the yeomanry-cavalry, in which he was a corporal, and Harry 
went to market for the purpose of selling some f^teers. On return- 
ing home, they were obliged to cross each other's track« They 



THE eOVKTBRFABT COUSINS. 95 

dwelt at oppottte ends of the long, BtraggUng village; which were 
a^roached bj two di&rent lanes : of these, the letter X will serre 
as a tokcaUj good sobatitiite for a ground plan ; — the market 
town being litaate at the top of the left, and the common, on 
which the reiNdew was held, on that of the right, limb of the letter; 
at the lower end of which the Tillage meandered along through 
meadows and com-fieldB ; Harry's abode being at the right, and 
Ralph's at the left end of it. llie two lanes were crossed, at the 
point of intersection, by a third, which, on account of its being 
two or three ysords wider, and a little more frequented than either 
of them, was dignified with the title of ** the high road;" and in 
this ''undeniable sttoation," as George Robins would say, stood a 
snug public house, called Sawney's Cross ; the front of which 
commanded a view, across the high road, for some distance up 
die lanes which led to die market town and common. 

Harry was proceeding down one lane, at a speedy, shuffling 
pace, betwixt a galley and trot, on a powerful blind galloway ; 
while Ralph approached the line of intersection, from the com- 
mon, by the other, on a gaunt, half4>ied horse, nearly sixteen 
hands high, a stnmg galk^r, and <|uite ungovemaUe whem put 
upon his mettle. The galloway and the tall horse were both ''home- 
ward bomid;" and " nadJBfing the manger from afar," each of them 
was going idong, impatient of check, and at, what jockies would 
call, "a tip-top pace." 

Ned Creese, the landlord of Sawney's Cross, stood at his door, 
and bdield the ominous approach of the two travellers : he was ma- 
thematieiaB enough to discover, that equi-^tant as they were, from 
the point where their lines of direction intersected each other in 
the middle of the main road, and approaching toward such point 
winh equal speed, something unpleasant must needs occur to one 
of the parties, at the transit. He beckoned, and called out to 
eadi of them as loudly as he could : but Harry was (ihort sighted, 
and could not see his motions; and Ralph was rather hard of 
hearing, and coiiki not make out what he meant ; so that neither 
of them pulled up ; and, as they were concealed from each other 
by the high hedges of the lanes, neither Harry nor Ralph was 
aware of the danger that menaced them, until they emerged from 
the bottom of the lanes. Ralph foresaw the event first, and, with 
might and main, attempted to pull his horse out of the way : he 
partly succeeded, but by checking his steed, and making him 
swerve from the direct line in which he was going, he gave Haixy 

c 



26 THE COUNTERPART COUSINS. 

a decided advantage in the ensuing shock. The cousins had just 
time to ejaculate " Hoy, Ralph!" and " Hilloa, Harry!" when the 
blind galloway bore his ofF-shoulder against the tall troop-horse's 
hind quarters, and just such a catastrophe took place as Creese 
had anticipated : — Harry was thrown over his galloway's head; and 
Ralph, with his horse, and the galloway at his heels, were carried 
to the brink of a horse-pond by the road side. Ralph fell in the 
mud, and the horses went over him into the water; where they lay 
struggling together for a few moments ; they then got up without 
assistance, and each limped homeward, leaving their owners to 
come after them as well as they could. 

" Hoy, Ralph ! " and " Hilloa, Harry I " were the first words 
the cousins uttered. 

"Art hurt, lad?" asked Ralph.— "No," was the reply;— 
" Art thee ?" 

"Sound as oak; only a bloody nose, and a bump on the 
forehead." 

"That's right, then; I don't feel much the matter myself ; but 
dowl take thy blind galloway, for all that!" 

" He's worth his weight in gold ;— didn't *ee see how he cap- 
sized you and your troop horse ?" 

" You charged me in fiank when I was filing off; — ^if I had 
met 'ee fiill butt, Harry, I should ha' sent thee and thy galloway 
clean into the muck, and gone on without abating pace, or feeling 
a jerk in my balance." 

" What, and not ha' turned round to say 'Hilloa, Harry?* 

" Odd ! yes, to be sure, — I'd say * Hilloa, Harry !' — and what 
will 'ee drink, besides." 

" Well,— and what shall we ?" 

" I don't mind ; — ^but let's ha' something, and make merry 
together for once." 

" Wi' all my heart! — Here we be, safe from busy meddlers; 
and dash me if I don't feel inclined to make a day of it." 

" Give me your hand ; — ^this capsize was a bit of luck, weren't 
it ?" 

" Aye, to be sure, — ^brought two good fellows together. What 
shall we have? — It's cold. — What d'ye say to Hopping John, made 
Tom Nottle's fashion ? — Landlord, mix pint of brandy wi' half a 
gallon of your best cider, sugared to your own taste ; and,^-d'ye 
mind? — ^pop in about a dozen good roasted apples, hissing hot, to 
takethecfaillofi:" 



I* t» 



TBB COUNTERPART COUSINS. 27 

In a short time, the two cousins were seated by the fire, in a 
little room behind the bar of the Sawney's Cross, with a smoking 
bowl of liquor on the table before them, and Ned Creese assisting 
them to empty it By degrees, the cousins became elevated, and 
their chat was enlivened by budding jokes and choice flowers of 
rustic song. Harry's forehead frequently reminded him, in the 
midst of his glee, of the adventure in the road ; and he recurred 
to it, for the fifth time, since the sitting, as Ned brought in a 
second brewage of hot Hopping John : — " I'd lay a wager I know 
where my blind galloway is, just about now," quoth he; ''it's odd 
to me if he isn't stopping at the Dragon's Head, where he always 
puUs up, and tempts me to call for a cup of cider and a mouthAil 
of hay." 

" Gentlemen," said Creese, " 111 give you a toast — a Devon- 
shire one — and it's this : — A back fall, or a side fall, or any fall 
but a fall out". 

" For my part," continued Ned, after his toast was duly ho- 
noured, — " I expected no less than a fight, if you were able to 
stand, afler what I saw would happen ; — ^but I hardly hoped to see 
both get on your legs, with nothing but one bloody nose between 
the pair of you." 

'< I must say, landlord, I fell very comfortably, indeed, consi- 
dering," said Harry. 

'* And I came down very much to my own satisfaction," quoth 
Ralph, ''only that I soiled my uniform." 

" It struck me," observed Ned Creese, " that you must have 
gone over head and ears into the pond, which is deeper than it 
should be in the middle; but I consoled myself; — for, thinks I, — 
if so be that he should, the frogs on his dragoon jacket will save 
him, if swimming can do it If you'd both broke your necks I 
couldn't but giggle to see you. It's my belief 'twould have made a 
horse laugh ; as my sign says, it was truly 'good entertainment for 
man and beast' — ^Don't be hipped because I'm jocular: joking's 
a malady with many a man, and here stands one of 'em ; we can 
no more help it than an ague fit But come, folks ; here's ' The 
West Country Orchards !' — and then let's rouse the crickets with 
tiie old apple-tree h3rmn. — 111 begin." So saymg, Creese com- 
menced, and, assisted by Ralph and Harry, chaunted forth the 
following rh3rmes, in a manner that would have amazed Mozart, 
although it gladdened the hearts of the rustic guests in the 
Sawney's Cross kitchen. 

c2 



28 THE COUNTERFAKT COUSINS. 

1. 

The white rose was, aye, a dainty flower, 

And the hawthorn a bonny tree ; 
A grove of oaks is a rich dame's dower ; 

But the barley-straw for me ! 

2. 

From his acorn-cup let the Elfin sip, 

And the oak -fruit be munched by swine ; 
The thrush may have both the haw and hip, 

Give me but the joUy vine ! 

3. 

Ale you may brew, from the barley-straw ; 

Neither ale, nor grape-juice for me ; 
I care not for acorn, hip, nor haw ; — 

Give me but the apple-tree ! 

After they had all three repeated the last verse together, and 
applauded their performance hy sundry exclamations of approval, 
and thwacks on the tahle, Ralph observed, "Oddsheart! cousin, 
we're getting as we should he ; a fig for a fall after this." 

" Da capo, say I to it," exclaimed Creese ; ** da capo, I say 
to it, heartily : da capo, as it is written in the score-book we sing 
the psalms hy, in the gallery, at church." 

''Wasn't frightened a trifle, landlord, when thee saw'st us 
coming V* * i 

" Is the approach of a good bone likely to alarm a hungry 
dog ? — I knew well enough you'd fall ; and if you fell, the fall 
must bring me grist, in meal or malt : — a 'quest jury, if death had 
been done ; board and lodging, in case of broken Umbs ; and a 
brace of guests for an hour, if you were only bruised. I shall be 
much obliged, when you knock one another down again, if you'll 
do it before my door. Success to cross-roads, blind galloways, 
helter-skelter dragooning, and blink-eyed farmers ! — Ha ! ha !— 
You'll excuse me gentlemen; we're all friends; I hope no 
offence. — What are your commands ?" 

'' There's one thing I'd wish thee to do, landlord," said Ralph ; 
" if any body should enquire for us,^-don't say we be here." 

"No, truly," added Harry; an' thou dost, thoult lose a 
couple of good customers, and get thy head broke to boot, perhaps." 

"Never fear — never fear!" replied Ned; "a secret's safe 
with me, as though 'twas whispered in the ear of an ass. Thank 



i 



THK COUNTERPART COUSINS. 29 

liesven, I hayen't had a woman in the house these seven yean; so 
all's snug. — 

** A forester slept beneath the beech* 
Heigh I norum snonim ! 
His full flask lay within his arm's reach ; 

Heigh I horum jorum ! 
A maiden came by with a blooming face, 

Heigh 1 rosy posey ! 
She ask'd him the way to Berrywell Chase,^ 
With its wine so old. 
And its pasties cold ; — 
Forester, what has froze yef 

^ A long song is out of place over good liquor ; so 111 not sing 
the other eighteen verses of that one ; its moral is, that a woman 
ean't keep a secret, even when the possession of what she desires 
depends on it; hut that her babbling often proves her salvation. 
A fiiar comes in sight, while the forester is wooing, and he packs 
the maid of^ for appearance' sake; — telling her, if she'll meet him 
there the next day, provided she don't reveal his promise to 
mortal, that hell give her ' a gown of the richest green,' besprinkled 
with dewy pearls, or pearly dew, I forget which : but the maiden 
was so delighted, that when she got to the Chase, she told the 
warden's niece, and the warden's niece told the maiden's aunt, 
and the maiden's aunt locked her up for a week: so she saved her 
reputation, but lost her present, by babbling. — Gentlemen, you 
don't drink 1 " 

We must here leave the cousins to the care of Creese — ^they 
eould not have fallen into better hands for the mood in which they 
met — and remind our readers, that the horses, after extricating 
themselves from the pond, proceeded homeward as well as the 
injuries they had received would permit. Their arrival at the 
village, spread consternation among its inhabitants : parties went 
forth, in different directions, to seek Ralph and Harry; — ^the women 
predicting that they had met and killed each other, and the men 

, endeavouring to stifle their own apprehensions on the subject. 
Creese^ on being asked if he knew any thing of the matter, replied^ 

; that " he had seen the horses, without riders, gallop by his door, 
down the lanes;" and as no one had witnessed the meeting of the 
cousins but himself and they were kept close in the back parlour, 
no information could be obtained from any one else. Lights were 



30 THE COUNTERPART COUSINS. 

burnt, ill almost every house in the village, nearly all night ; and 
toward day-break the last party returned without any tidings of 
the lost sheep. Old Dame Deborah, confiding in the predictions 
of Matty Drew, said, as well as she could, " Bad is this — ^there's 
worse to come ; — ^it will prove to be but a 

" Merry meeting — sorry parting.'' 

We must now return to the cousins. On the morning after 
their concussion in front of Sawney's Cross, Ralph, with whom 
we shall begin, awoke at day break, and on taking a hasty survey 
of his apartment, found, to his surprise, that he was not at home. 
He recollected very weU that he had usually worn, for many years 
past, corduroy small-clothes; and, when he joined the volunteer 
yeomanry, white doe-skin pantaloons. " Whose black nether gar- 
ments can those be, then," thought he, " which I see dangling 
from yonder peg?" — He leaped out of bed, threw open the lattice, 
and the first object that attracted his notice was the horse-pond; 
on the miry edge of which, he remembered having been thrown the 
day before. This accounted for the colour of his doe-skins. "But, 
how the dickens," thought he, "got I this tremendous black eye? 
Where's my front tooth ? And who the deuce has been bruising my 
ear? — I recollect, well enough, seeing Creese, the landlord, bring 
in a third brewing of Hopping John, and my singing, * Creeping 
Jenny,' or part of it, afterwards :— but what's come of Harry?" 

While these and similar reflections were passing in Ralph's 
mind, he proceeded to dress himself, which he found a task of 
considerable difficulty, for he was stiff and sore in every limb. 
Impatient to resolve the mystery in which he found himself in- 
volved, Ralph, before he was completely attired in his soiled 
uniform, hobbled down stairs, and found Harry, staring at the 
landlord, as though Creese had just been telling him some very 
marvellous story, 

" Why, Ralph,— cousin Ralph," said Harry, as Ralph entered 
the kitchen, " what be this the landlord says ? — He vows and 
protests 'twere you that ha' been tearing my clothes to tatters and 
rags, and beating my face to a jelly ! — I ha'n't a sound inch in 
my skin !" 

" Before I do answer any questions, it be my wish to know of 
you, landlord," said Ralph, in an angry tone, and taking Creese 
by tlie collar; "and what's more, I insist you do tell me, who took 



THE COUNTERPART COUSINS. 31 

the advantage of me last night — ^who it were that knocked my 
tooth out, when I were overcome V* 

** I've lost a tooth myself, — ^be dashed if I ha'n't!" exclaimed 
Hany, whose attention was so distracted by his other injuries, 
that he had not discovered the important fact before this moment; 
" 111 swear I had it in my mouth last night," pursued he, grasp- 
ing Creese, with his huge paw, by the collar ; *' and 111 be told, 
why and wherefore you've let me be used like a dog, when I 
were drunk : — ^answer !" 

*' Ay, answer, or I'U shake thy life out I" cried Ralph, looking 
as if he really meant to "suit the action to the word." 

" Gentlemen, — ^guests," said Creese, apparently not in the least 
alarmed^ but putting himself in a strong attitude, and calmly 
collaring the cousins ; " he mild, and you shall hear all ; or one 
at a time, and I'm for the first fair fall, who shall pay last night's 
smart, with the best, or both of you,— one down t'other come on : 
but if youll put your hands in your pockets and be peaceable, 111 
employ mine to produce your teeth ; — that is, if I can." 

The cousins now relinquished their holds, and Ned drew out 
a drawer of the dresser, and requested they would look into it. 
" Here," said he, " you wHl find the fragments of your feast of 
fisty-cuffii : perhaps, among the bits of lace, linen, broad-cloth, 
frogs and buttons, which I carefully swept up last night, after I 
had put you both to bed, you may find your teeth; if not, I 
know nothing about them: — send for a constable, and search me, 
if you like." 

At this ofier, the cousins turned to each other and were going 
to smile; but immediately they were face to face, they stared in 
so rueful a manner, that Creese was amazingly amused. It was 
the first time, since Ralph had come down stairs, that the cousins 
had closely inspected each other's countenances, which might, with 
propriety enough, as the landlord said, be called " maps of mis- 
chance." " But it's all yoiur own doings," quoth he ; "the credit 
and honour belong to nobody but yourselves ; — I must say you're 
both downright dapsters at disfiguration." 

" But how were it, d'ye say, landlord?" asked Ralph. 

" Ay, truly, how happened it all, according to your story ? " — 
said Hany. 

" Why, gentlemen," replied Creese, " after I found you were 
going to drink more than I could well bear, — when it was high 
tide almost in my head, and my fraU wits began to rock to and fro. 



32 THB COUNTERPART COUSINS* 

pitching me about, when I moved, like a barge in a hurricane, — I 
very wisely anchored in the bar, and attended, as well as I oould, 
to my business : a nap or two between whiles, as I tended my 
customers, and one cool pipe, brought me round, and it was calm 
sailing with me again. — All this time you were getting louder and 
louder; at last, the short gentleman, my worthy friend, Mr. Harry, 
persuaded you, Mr. Ralph, to try a friendly back-fall with him. 
There wasn't much harm in that; — though, I promise you, I tried 
to prevent it, but couldn't. So I cleared away the crockery, and 
stood by, as 'twas my duty, to see fair. Harry was, clearly, in my 
mind, the best wrestler; but, somehow, Ralph got the in-lock, 
and laid him upon the planchin, flat as a pancake." 

" Did I, by jingo?" eagerly exclaimed Ralph. 

"No, — ^it's all his lies; — ^it couldn't be !" quoth Harry; looking 
very incredulous and displeased. 

" I have said it, and I'll stand to it;"— continued Ned; "and 
when you got up, as you did, with my help, you went over to 
Ralph, patted him on the back, and, said you, — 'Well done, 
cousin, — I didn't think it was in thee !' You added, with an oath, 
it was the best and fairest fall you had seen for years past ; — that 
it nearly drove the breath out of your body; and then you patted 
him on the back again. Afber this, you both sat down, talked, sung, 
and, — ^by-and-bye, — began to broach sometliing about back-sword." 

" Likely enough, an't it, Harry?" said Ralph. 

" I don't believe a word o' the story," replied Harry ; — " but 
I'll hear it out" 

" I did not ask you to believe it," said Creese ; " but there's 
special evidence on your head, as well as on your cousin's, that 
you played at it, long and lustily." 

" And which won ?" enquired Ralph. 

" Both of you lost blood, as well as temper, at last," replied 
Creese; "but, I remember, Harry gave you the first broken head." 

" Never !" replied Ralph," it never lay in his shoes : he may 
be as good a wrestler, or better; but scores of men, that my cousin 
Harry have often and often given his head to, never could touch 



me. 



" Well! be that as it may," said the landlord, " he certainly 
had you last night, Ralph, or I'm out of my senses. Why, I 
remember it as well as if it was but a minute ago : — ^you broke open 
the glass buSet, in which the two sticks my imcle and father won 
the grand match with — Wilts against Somerset— -was stuck up, 



THK COUKTXRPART COUSIKS. 33 

among the china, with silver mountingi, and decorated with green 
rihbons, cut out like Uiurel-leayefl ; — and you said they were the 
best sticks you ever broke a head with: and when Harry cut your 
esTf and I cried out < A bout, a bout!' and put the poker between 
you, you shook Harry's hand, and said you admired him, for he 
liad done what no man ever had attempted — namely — ^hit you 
under your best guard." 

<< Ha! ha! ha!" shouted Hanry. « Odds buttons ! Ralph, but 
there seems to be some truth in this though, for your ear is cut up, 
sure enough then, dean as a whistle ; it must ha' been done as 
Creese says." 

Ralph put his hand up to his ear, and, like Lord Burleigh, in 
The Critic, shook his head and said nothing. 

" All this," continued the landlord, ** was friendly and dvil : 
you then ordered a double quantity of brandy in the brewage — ^if 
you don't believe me, look in the bill, — and, in about half an hour, 
I found you fighting in downright earnest, and in all manner of 
ways ; — kicking, cudgelling, wrestling, pulling, punching, tearing 
one another to pieces very ungentlemanly, and so forth, and clearly 
bent on destruction. You had cracked ^the looking-glass, broke 
the table, ' shod the liquor, and tore the porringer,' as the man said ; 
or, in other words, shed the cider and brandy, and broke the bowl; 
all which you'U find I've made correct memorandums of in the 
bOl. Then I called in the blacksmiths, from next door, our ostler, 
and three waggoners who were drinking outside ; — ^we a]l pitched 
into you, and, at last, got you asunder: but not before the mischief 
you see and feel was done ; and to shew what minds you were in, 
when we pulled you, hy main force, apart, each of you carried 
away his hold, like a couple of bull-dogs : — Harry brought off a 
piece of Ralph's sleeve and his shoulder-belt, and Ralph the fore- 
part of Harry's coat, full two-thirds of his waistcoat, and a pattern 
of his linen. We then contrived to get you to bed — as you'll see 
in the hill ; and — and — " 

" Aye, — and here we be," added Ralph ; " nice objects for a 
wife and family to look at!" 

" Thou'rt quite a scarecrow, cousin Ralph," said Harry. 

" Do get him a glass, and let him look at himself landlord," 
said Ralph. ** I'm sorry for thee, Harry ; — ^it's my belief 't'ant 
exactly as the landlord says; but we can't belie the story he has 
told us, so where's the use of disputing? The question is, — ^what 
thaUwedo?" 



d4 THE COUNTERPART COUSINS 

" Be dashed if I bean't ashamed to go home/' replied Hany; 
" I sha'n't be able to look my wife in the face." 

*^ Ah I that's touching a sore place, Harry. 'Tisn't my bruises, 
nor thine, that I care much about — after all ; but frightening the 
. women, poor dear souls ! — thy Jane and my Grace, Harry — ^by 
staying out all night, eh?" 

" Don't talk about it, — but let's get some drink." 

" Small ale, or leek broth, let it be, then, and well start while 
we be sober and solid. We'll get a couple of carts — you shall go to 
my wife, and smooth her over, and 111 go to thine; and then, at 
night, let 'em come and fetch each of us home." 

*' Well ! so be it, Ralph ; but sha'n't we have a stirrup-cup V* 

** No, not this time. — ^Your hand, Harry — I like thee, cousin ; 
but it strikes me there's some truth in old women and witches. I 
wouldn't pass another evening with thee, for half the land from 
here to Axminster." 

A week after the rencounter at Sawney's Cross, each of the 
cousins was lying at his own home, — a-bed, bandaged, and still suf- 
fering from the bruises which they had conferred on each other. 
They soon, however, recovered: the watchful care of their friends 
was doubled; neither of them evinced much inclination for the 
other's company, and a whole year passed away, without any thing 
remarkable occurring between them. 

The birth-day of the cousins was, however, again unlucky. — 
Harry, perhaps on account of his success in the bout he had with 
Ralph, at Sawney's 'Cross, or, it might be, from mere whim, prac- 
tised back-sword-playing, and became a frequent attendant at the 
various single-stick matches in the neighboiurhood. Some capital 
pastime having been expected, at a revel, about ten miles up tlie 
country, Harry and Ralph, on their forty-second birth-day, totally 
miaware of each other's intentions, set off to see and join in the 
sport. The malice or ciuiosity of some of the parties present, or, 
perhaps, mere accident, brought the cousins on the stage as oppo- 
nents. Ralph was going to descend ; but Harry whispered in his 
ear, " If we don't have a bout or two, Ralph, they'll jeer us, and 
say we be old women." Ralph still evinced an inclination to retire ; 
when his cousin said aloud, " Now, Ralph, here's a chance for 
getting the head you lost to me at Sawney's Cross." " Aye, true, 
— ^true," replied Ralph, taking a stick, and preparing for the play. 
They shook hands ; both, as usual, said, — " God save our eyes ! " 
— ^they threw themselves into attitude; and one minute had scarcely 



THE COUNTERPART COUSINS. 85 

elapsed, before Harry received a blow from Ralph's stick, which 
totally deprived him of sight, in one eye, for the remainder of his 
existence. 

An inflammation of so violent a nature ensued, that Harry's 
life was, for some time, considered in danger. One day, when his 
wife came to Ralph's house, weeping, and exclaiming that little 
hope was left of her husband's recovery. Dame Deborah, in a 
low, broken tone, said to her, ** The day's not come ; it is but— 

** Second greeting — ^bitter smarting." 

** Bide a while — there's no fear yet" 

Deborah was right : Harry recovered his health and strength, 
and none ever heard him regret the loss of his eye; about which, 
he said, poor Ralph *' took on " unnecessarily, for it was purely an 
accident. The forty-third and forty-fourth birth-days had passed; 
and the minds of the relations of Ralph and Harry grew more com- 
posed ; although they still continued on the alert, to prevent them 
getting together over " a cup of drink." It happened that Harry 
had a heavy crop of oats, in a large field, which were dead-ripe; 
and bad weather being expected, it was an object of importance 
with him to get the crop "cut and carried" as quickly as possible. 
According to the custom of the village, every farmer, who was not 
in a similar predicament, came, with such servants as he could spare, 
to assist his neighbour in distress. Ralph was one of the first in 
the field, and set so fine an example to his companions, that the 
oats were all down, long before sun-set The work was severe, the 
weather sultry, and the hospitable Harry did not grudge his cider 
during the day. Deep draughts had been quafied, and Harry could 
not suffer his guests to depart, without a cup round of his best As 
they were about to quit the field, a grey-headed man unfortunately 
remarked, that they wer^ standing on the spot where, on that day 
and hour, a great many years before, litde Dick Hickory had 
killed old Reuben Blake. This produced a string of observations 
from various individuals of the party : the merits and demerits of 
the action were freely canvassed ; the debate grew hot, aihd more 
cider was brought from the house. Ralph and Harry, naturally 
enough, joined in, and, at length, led the discussion. Ralph blamed 
Dick Hickory, and Hany applied several harsh epithets, in the 
warmth of the moment, to Reuben Blake. The cheeks of the spec- 
tators grew pale, as the cousins abruptly broke from the original 



S6 THE CODKTZKPAKT CODBINI. 

argument to abuse each Other: a well-raeant interference increawd, 
rather than allayed, theic rage ; the; cast the alarmed mediaton 
adde, fleir toward each other, and grappled: — as Ralph vat 
nuhing in, Harry crouched, lifted his cousin off the ground, and 
tbrev him completely over his head, — never to rise again ! 

When hi* aonowM companions brought home the body of 
poor Ralph, they found old Deborah repeating, in a low, shrill, 
and, aa they afterwards said, unearthly tooe, the rhymes of Mat^ 
Drew : but the last words of the third line died away on her lips ; 
and when some of the family ceased, for a moment, to gaze on the 
livid face of Ralph, and turned toward the kitchen-hearth, they 
saw that Dame Deborah was dead in her chair. 



CADDY CUDDLE. 

On the second annivenaxy of their wedding^ay, the Honoor- 
ahle Charles Caddy, and Lady Letitia, his high-hom and beautiful 
wife, entertained a large party of guests at Caddy Castle. Until a 
few months previously to this event, the old building had been 
left nearly desolate, for a period of eleven or twelve years : a fbw 
domestics were its only inhabitants, except old Squire Caddy 
Caddy, its unfortunate owner, who had lost his wits, and was 
confined in one of its comfortable turrets, under the care of a 
couple of stout and wary keepers. 

The castle had recently been put in order for the reception of 
the Honourable Charles Caddy, a distant relation o( but next 
heir to, the hmatic, who was entrusted with the care of Caddy 
Caddy's property. He came down to Caddy Castle, with a 
determination d making himself popular in the neighbourhood ; 
and began by giving invitations to all the gentlemen and ladies of 
respectability, within a circuit of several nules. A number of his 
own personal friends, and those of Lady Letitia, had followed 
them, shortly afler their departure from town, to spend the 
Christmas holidays at Caddy Castle ; so that the ancient edifice 
was by far more gay than it had ever been, even during the time 
when the once jovial Caddy Caddy was lord paramount in the 
halls of his ancestors. 

Among the guests assembled in honour of the day, was 
Mr. Caddy Cuddle, a quiet elderly bachelor, of small fortune, 
related, on his mother's side, to the Caddy &mily, who had been 
one of Caddy Caddy's most intimate associates, in former times. 
By order of the medical gentlemen who attended on Caddy Caddy, 
Mr. Cuddle, as well as all his old friends, had been denied access 
to the lunatic, from very proper motives, at the outset of his con- 
finement. Caddy Cuddle's cottage was eleven miles distant ; the 
Castle had lost its chief attraction ; and this was the first time he 
had been near it, for several years. 

In his younger days, Caddy Cuddle was of a very active and 
enterprising spirit ; he shared die perils of his father's three last 
▼oy ageS) and would, in all probability, have made as good a seaman 



38 CADDY CUDDLE. 

as old Herbert Cuddle himself, had it not been for the solicitude 
of his mother; who, losing her other two children rather sud- 
denly, persuaded young Caddy that a life of ease, with sufficient to 
satisfy the desires of a moderatie person, was preferable by far to 
the dangers attendant upon a chace after Fortune, on the perilous 
ocean. Caddy then amused himself by studying the learned lan- 
guages ; and, at length, as some of his simple neighbours said, had 
got them so completely at his fingers* ends, that it was a pity his 
parents had not made him a parson. 

He was simple, kind, and innocent of evil intentions, as it was 
possible for a man to be ; but it was his misfortune, owing to his 
ignorance of that most useful of all sciences, a knowledge of the 
world, to touch the feelings of his host rather smartly, on several 
occasions, during the discourse that took place, over the bottle, 
among the guests at the Castle. Cuddle was naturally taciturn ; 
but two or three extra glasses of wine produced their usual effect 
upon such a temperament, and rendered him too loquacious to 
be pleasant The happiest hours of his life, were those which he 
had passed, above a dozen years before, at Caddy Castle ; and he 
repeatedly alluded to his unhappy friend, poor Caddy Caddy, — 
the feats they had performed, the jokes they had cracked, the 
simple frolics they had enacted, and the songs they had sung 
together, over their ale and tobacco, in the good old days. 

The Honourable Charles Caddy felt particularly annoyed at the 
fact of his lunatic relation's confinement in the Castle, — ^which, 
perhaps rather in bad taste, he had made the scene of festivity, 
— being thus abruptly revealed to his fashionable visitors ; but he 
was too well-bred to display the least symptom of his feelings. 
Watchitig, however, for an opportunity, when he might break in 
upon Cuddle's narratives, without palpably interrupting him, the 
Honourable Charles Caddy, adroitly, as he thought, started a sub- 
ject, which, he imagined, would be at once interesting to his neigh- 
bours, and turn two or three of his metropolitan friends from 
listeners to talkers. ' 

" I have been looking over the common, this morning,"^ 
said he, '* and it occurs to me, that, in a neighbourhood so 
opulent as ours, races might be established without much diffi- 
culty. The common would afford as pretty a two-mile coiu*se 
as any gentleman could desire. If such a thing were set on 
foot, I should be happy to lend it all the support in my power. 
I woidd take leave to offer a cup, to commence with; and I think 



CADDT CUDDLB. 89 

I could answer for a plate from the county members. Indeed, 
it surprises me, rather, that the idea has not before occurred to 
some gentleman in the vicinity." 

''Cousin Caddy, it has!" exclaimed Cuddle; "our respected 
friend and relation, up stairs, gave away a dozen smock-frocks and 
a bundle of waggon-whips, for seven successive years; and would, 
doubtless, have done so to this day, had not his misfortune deprived 
him of the power. The prizes were contested for, regularly, on the 
second day of the fair, — which then took place on the common, — 
immediately after the pig with the greasy tail was caught ; and 
the boys had eaten the hot rolls, sopped in treacle ; and the women 
had wrestled for the new gown ; and — " 

" Women wrestle !" exclaimed one of the Honourable Charles 
Caddy's friends. 

'* Mr. Cuddle is quite correct, sir," replied young Tom Homer, 
who had lately come into possession of a snug estate in the neigh- 
bourhood ; " I have seen them wrestle, in various other parts of 
the county, as well as on our common." 

« Never heard of such savages since the day I drew breath ! 
Egad! — ^never, I protest!" said the gentleman who had interrupted 
Caddy Cuddle. 

" Why, it's bad enough, I must admit," said Homer; "but I 
think I heard you boast that you were a man of Kent, just now, 
sir; and, as I am told, the women of that county play cricket- 
matches very frequently. Now, in my opinion, there is not a very 
great difference between a female match at cricket, on a common, 
and a feminine bout at wrestling, in a ring. In saying this, I beg 
to observe that I mean no offence." 

" I take none ; I protest I see no occasion, — ^no pretence for 
my taking umbrage. — I am not prepared to question the fact," — 
added the speaker, turning toward his host; "not prepared to 
question the fact, you observe, after what has dropped from the 
gentleman ; although, with permission, on behalf of the women of 
Rent, I take leave to declare, that I never heard of their indulging 
in such an amusement, before the gentleman mentioned it" 

" Well, sir," said Caddy Cuddle, who had been very impatient, 
all this time, to blazon the generosity and spirit of his friend, 
Caddy Caddy ; " I was going on to state, that, after the gold-laced 
hat was grinned for, through a horse-collar; the pig was caught, 
and so forth, — the expense of all which pastimes Caddy Caddy 
bore; — the waggon-horse-race was run, for the whips and frocks." 



40 CADDT CUDDLE. 

*'A waggon-horse-race!" said the gentleman of Kent; <'I 
beg pardon ; did I hear you correctly ? — ^Am I to understand you, 
as having positively said — a waggon-horse-race ?" 

" Certainly, sir," said Tom Homer; *' and capital sport it is : 
I have been twice to Newmarket, and once to Doncaster; I know 
a little about racing; I think it a noble, glorious, exhilarating 
sport ; but, next to the first run I saw for the St. Leger, I nevei 
was half so delighted with any thing, in the shape of racing, as 
when Billy Norman, who now keeps the west gate of Caddy Park 
here, exactly sixteen years ago, come August^ won the whips on 
the common." 

'' Indeed !" simpered the gentleman of Kent, gazing at Tom 
Homer, as though he were a recently imported nondescript 

"Billy, on that occasion, rode most beautifully;" continued 
Homer ; " he carried the day in fine style, coming in, at least 
seven lengths, behind all his competitors." 

" If I may be allowed," observed the gentleman of Kent, "you 
would say, before" 

"Not at all, sir; not at all;" exclaimed Caddy Cuddle; 
"draught horses are not esteemed as valuable in proportion to their 
speed : in the waggon-horse-race no man is allowed to jockey his 
own animal ; the riders are armed with tremendous long whips ; 
their object is to drive all their companions before them ; he that 
gets in last, wins : and so, sir, they slash away at each other's 
horses; — then, sir, there's such shouting and bellowing; such kick- 
ing, rearing, whinnjdng, galloping, and scrambling, that it would 
do a man's heart good to look at it. Poor Caddy Caddy used to 
turn to me, and say, as well as his laughter would let him, — ' What 
are your Olympic games, — ^your feats, and fine doings at the tombs 
of yoiur old Greek heroes, that you prate about, compared with 
these, cousin Cuddle?'" 

The Honourable Charles Caddy smiled, and bit the inner part 
of his lip with vexation : he now tried to give the conversation 
another tiun, and introduced the chase ; thinking that it was a 
very safe subject, as Caddy Caddy had never kept a pack of hounds. ' 
"I feel very much inclined," said he, "anxious as 1 am to forward 
the amusement of my neighbours, to run up a kennel, beyond the 
rookery, at the north end of the park, — where there is very good 
air, and a fine stream of water, — and invite my friend, Sir Harry 
Parton, to hunt this country, for a couple of months during the 
season. One of my feUows says, that there are not only numbers 



CADDY CUDDLS. 41 

of foxes in the neighbourhood, but what is still better, a few, — a 
very few, — of those stags, about which we have heard so much. I 
think I have influence enough with Sir Harry to persuade him ; 
at all events, I'll invite him ; and if he should have other exist- 
ing engagements, I pledge myself, — that is, if such a step would 
be agreeable, — to hunt the countiy myself." 

" Our respected and unfortunate friend, cousin Caddy," said 
Cuddle, ** had a little pack of dogs — " 

"A pack of dogtf indeed, they were, Mr. Cuddle," inter- 
rupted young Homer ; ** five or six couple of curs, that lurked 
about the Castle, gentlemen, which we used sometimes to coax 
down to the river, and spear or worry an otter; and, now and then, 
wheedle away to the woods, at midnight, for a badger-himt, after 
drinking more ale than we well knew how to carry. I was a boy 
then, but I could drink ale by the quart." 

" Ay, ay !" exclaimed Caddy Cuddle, " those were famous 
times ! *Tis true, I never went out with you, but 1 recollect very 
well how I enjoyed poor Caddy Caddy's animated descriptions of 
the badger-hunt, when he came back." 

" Oh ! then you hunted badgers, did you ?" said the gentle- 
man of Kent to Tom Homer, in a sneering tone, that produced 
a titter all round the table. 

'' Yes, sir, — ^we hunted badgers," replied Tom ; " and capital 
sport it is, too, in default of better." 

" I dare say it is," said the gentleman of Kent. 

"Allow me to tell you then, sir, that there is really good sport 
in badger-hunting; it is a fine, irregular sort of pastime, unfettered 
by the systematic rules of the more aristocratic sports. The stag- 
hunt and the fox-chase, are so shackled with old ordinances and 
covert-side statutes, that they remind me of one of the classical 
dramas of the French : a badger-hunt is of the romantic school ; — 
free as air, wild as mountain breezes; — joyous, exhilarating, 
uncurbed, and natural as one of our Shakspeare's plays. Barring 
an otter-himt, (and what's better still, according to Caddy Cuddle's 
account, who has been in the North Seas, the spearing of a whale,) 
there are few sports liiat suit my capacity of enjoyment, so well as 
badger-bagging. — ^Just picture to yourself, that you have sent in a 
keen terrier, no bigger than a stout fitchet, or thereabouts, to ascer- 
tain that the badger is not within ; that you have cleveiiy bagged 
the hole, and stuck the end of the mouth-line in the fist of a 
patient, but wary and dexterous dod-hopper; (an old, lame. 



42 CADDY CUDDt 

broken-down, one-eyed gamekeeper, is the best creature on earth 
for such an office;) — and then, what do you do? — ^Why, zoimds! 
every body takes his own course, with or without dogs, as it may 
happen ; hunting, yelping, hallooing, and beating every brake for 
half a mile, or more, round, to get scent of the badger. Imagine 
the moon, 'sweet huntress of yon azure plain,' is up, and beaming 
with all her brilliancy ; the trees beautiMly basking in her splen- 
dour ; her glance streaming through an aperture in an old oak, 
caused by the fall of a branch, by lightning, or bluff Boreas, and 
fringing the mallow-leaf with silver; the nightingale, in the brake, 
fascinating your ear; the glow-worm delighting your eye: — you 
stand, for a moment, motionless ; — ^the bat whirrs above your head 
and the owl, unaccustomed to the sight of man, in such deep soli" 
tudes, flaps, fearless^ so near as to fan your glowing forehead with 
his wings : — ^when suddenly you hear a shout, — a yell, — two or three 
such exclamations as — * There a* ees!* — *Thic*s he!* — *At 'un, 
Juno!' — 'Yonder a goath!' — 'Hurrah!* — ' VoUow un up!* — ' 
* Yaw awicks !' and * Oh ! my leg!' — ^You know by this, that 'the 
game's a foot;* — ^you fly to the right or left, as the case may be, 
skimming over fiirzy brake, like a bird, and wading through 
tangled briar, as a pike would, through the deeps of a brook, after 
a trout that is lame of a fln. You reach the scene of action ; the 
badger is before, half a score of tykes around, and the yokels 
behind you. — * Hark forward ! have at him!' you enthusiastically 
cry ; your spirits are up ; — you are buoyant — agile as a roe-buck ; 
— your legs devour space — ^you — " 

" My dear fellow, allow me to conclude," interrupted Caddy 
Cuddle, " for your prose Pegasus never can carry you through the 
hunt at this rate. To be brief, then, — according to what I have 
heard from my never-to-be-sufiiciently-lamented friend, Caddy 
Caddy, — ^the badger, when found, immediately makes for his earth : 
if he reach it without being picked up and taken, he bolts in at 
the entrance ; the bag receives him ; its mouth is drawn close by 
the string; and thus tiie animal is taken. — ^But, odds! while I talk 
of those delights, which were the theme of our discourse in the 
much-regretted days of Caddy Caddy, I forget that time is on the 
wing. — I suppose no one is going my way." 

" I am," replied Tom Homer, "in about three hours' time.** 

" Ay, ay ! you're younger, friend Homer, than I have been 

these fifteen years," said Cuddle ; "time was, before Caddy Caddy 

lost his wits, when he and I have sat over midnight together, as 



CADDY CUDDLB. 49 

merry as crickets; bat since his misfortune^ I have become a yery 
altered man. *• Pritnd nocte domum claude:' — that has been my 
motto for years past Mrs. Watermark, my good housekeeper, is, I 
feel convinced, already alarmed ; and it would not become me, 
positively to terrify her : besides, I am not on very intimate terms 
with my horse, which I borrowed from my friend, Anthony Mutch, 
of Mallow Hill, for this occasion : the roads, too, have been so 
cut and carved about, by the Commis8ioners,^loubtless, for veiy 
wise purposes, — since poor Caddy Caddy's time,, that I had much 
ado to find my way in the broad day-light ; and these spectacles, 
I must needs say, although I reverence the donor, are not to be 
depended on, so implicitly as I could wish. Let me see — ay — 'tis 
now twelve years ago, frt>m my last birth-day, since they were pre- 
sented to me; and, believe me, I've never had the courage to wear 
them before. I hate changing, — especially of spectacles ; I should 
not have put them on now — confound them ! — ^had it not been 
for Mrs. Watermark, who protested my others were not fit to be 
seen in decent society." 

" Under the circumstances you have mentioned," said the 
Honourable Charles Caddy, " I must press you to accept of a bed. 
Pray, make the Castle your own; you will confer an obligation on 
me by remaining." 

" Cousin Caddy," replied Cuddle^ rising from his seat, and 
approaching his host, whose hand he took between both his own ; 
" I rejoice to find so worthy a successor of poor Caddy Caddy, 
master of Caddy Castle. It would be most pleasing to me, if it were 
possible, to remain; and, I do protest, that I positively would, 
were it not for the feelings of Mrs. Watermark, — a most worthy 
and valuable woman, — who is now, perhaps, sitting on thorns on 
my account. But I feel so gratefiil to you, — so happy in your society, 
that I will actually quaff another bumper,^ previously to taking my 
stirrup-cup ; yea^ and truly, were honest Jack Cole — old king Cole, 
as we used to call him, in Caddy Caddy's days, — were Jack here, 
with his fine bass voice, I would actually proffer a stave or so, — 
say, for instance, the Dialogue between Time and the Drinkers, — 
if Tom Homer would chime in, as he used to do when a boy, here, 
in this very room, with honest Jack, poor Caddy Caddy, and' my- 
self in times past.. — Honest Jack ! most excellent Jack ! rare king 
Cole ! would he were here !" 

"I should be sorry, cousin," said the Honourable Charles 
Caddy, ^ to have omitted, in my invitation-list^ the name of soi 

j}2 



44 CADDY CUDDLE. 

respectable and staunch a friend of our family, as Mr. Cole, of 
Colebrook. If I do not mistake, he sits immediately below my 
friend Wilmot, at the next table ; I regret that I have not had an 
opportunity of making myself more known to him." 

" Jack ! honest Jack !" exclaimed Cuddle ; " old king Cole, 
here, and I not know it? — Little Jack, that's silent as the grave, 
except when he thunders in a glee ! — ^Where, cousin ? Oddsbird ! 
eh ? — Jack, where are you ?" 

" Here am I, Caddy," replied a diminutive old gentleman, with 
a remarkably drowsy-looking eye; " I thought you were not going 
to accost me." 

The deep and sonorous tone in which these words were spoken, 
startled those who sat near old Cole: they gazed at him, and 
seemed to doubt if the sounds they had heard really emanated 
from the lungs of so spare and puny a personage. Cuddle 
crossed his arms on his breast, and exclaimed, ''And is it, indeed, 
my friend Jack Cole?" 

" Don't you know me, when I speak even ?" growled old Cole, 
" or d'ye think somebody has borrowed my voice ?" 

" *Tis Jack, himself!" cried Cuddle; " honest Jack! and I did 
not see him! — ^These glasses I cannot help stigmatizing as an 
egregious nuisance." 

"Well, Mr. Cole, what say you, will you join us?" inquired 
Homer. 

" No, sir," replied Cole; "sing by yourself; one ass at a time 
i^ bad enough ; but three braying together, are insupportable." 

" The same man, — the same man as ever;" exclaimed Cuddle, 
apparently very much pleased; — "begin. Homer; — ^you know his 
way ; — ^he can't resist, when his bar comes. He had always these 
crotchets; — ^begin, my boy; I will pledge myself that befalls in 
with the stream. of the tune." 

Homer and Cuddle now commenced the glee; and, as the 
latter had predicted, Cole, after closing his eyes, throwing him- 
self back in his chair, and making sundry wry faces, trowled forth 
the first reply, and afterwards, all the other responses of old Father 
Time, in the following verses. — 

** Whither away! old Father Time? 
Ah ! whither dost thou run ?"— 

" Low, — low, 

I've a mob to mow ; 
My work b never done." 



CADDY CUDDLE. A5 

« Tairy awhile with iu, old Time, 
And lay thy scythe aside I" — 
"Nay!— nay! 
'Tia a busy day ; 
My work it lieth wide.'* 

** Tell us, we pray thee, why, old Time, 
Thou look'st so pale and glum V* — 
« Fie 1— fie! 
I evermore sigh, 

• Eternity, oh! come !* *• 

« Art thou, then, tired, old Father Time ? 
Thy labour dost thou rue?" — 
" Long,— long. 
Has it been my song, — 

* Could I bat die like you !' " 

<* Tell us, then, when, old Father Time, 
We may expect thy death 1"— 

" That mom 

Eternity's bom, 
Receives my parting breath.' 



t> 



<* And what's eternity. Father Time ? 
We pray thee, tell us now !'*— 

** When men 

Are dead, it is then 
Eternity they know." 

'< Come, fill up thy glass, old Father Time, 
And clog its sands with wine !"— 

" No, no ; 

They would faster flow, 
And distil tears of brine 1" 

Caddy Cuddle, at the conclusion of these verses, took po§- 
lession of a vacant chair, by the side of old Colci and soon forgot 
that there was such a being as Mrs. Watermark in existence. He 
quaffed bumper after bumper with honest Jack ; — ^an hour passed 
very pleasantly away in talking of old times ; — ^and Cuddle won- 
dered to find himself slightly intoxicated. He immediately rose, 
took his leave rather uncourteously, and went out, muttering some- 
thing about "eleven miles," and " Motber Watermark." In a few 
minutes, be was mounted, and trotting toward the park gate which 
opened on the liigh road. " A fine nighty Billy Norman ; — a fine 



46 CADDY CUDDLE. 

night, Billy;" said Cuddle, as lie rode through, to the old gate- 
keeper; "pray, BiDy, what say you? Don't you think they have 
cut the roads up cruelly, of late years ? — Here's half a crown, Billy. 
— ^What with planting, and enclosing, and road-making, I scarcely 
know the face of the country ; it's as puzzling as a lahyrinth. — 
Good night, Billy !" 

Cuddle, who was a tolerahly hold rider, for a man of his years, 
now struck his horse rather forcibly, with his heels, and urged him 
at once into a brisk hand-gallop. 

" He hath a spur in his head," said Billy Norman to himself, 
as Cuddle disappeared down the road ; *' I hope nought but good 
may happen him ; for he's one of the right sort, if he had it.'* 

The roads were dry and hard, tlie air serene, and Billy stood 
listening, for a few minutes, to the sounds of the horse's feet ; he 
soon felt convinced, by the cadences, that Caddy Cuddle was in- 
creasing, rather than diminishing, his speed. The beat of the 
hoofs became, at length, barely audible; it gradually died away; 
and Norman was going in to Ught his pipe, when he thought he 
heard the sounds again. He put his hand behind his ear, held his 
breath, and, in a few moments, felt satisfied that Caddy Cuddle had 
taken the wrong turning, and was working back, by a circular 
route, toward Caddy Castle again. As he approached nearer, 
Norman began to entertain apprehensions that Cuddle's horse had 
run away with him, in consequence of the violent pace, at which, 
it was clear, from the sound of its feet, that the animal was going. 
Norman stepped off the pathway into the road, and prepared to 
haU Cuddle, as he passed, and ascertain, if possible, what really was 
the matter. The horse and his rider came on nearly at full speed, 
and Norman shouted, with all his might, — " Holloa! hoy I stop !" 

" I carry arms ! I carry arms !" cried Cuddle, urging his horse 
forward with all his might. 

"Zauns!" exclaimed Norman, "he takes I for a highway- 
man ! — He must ha' mistook the road, that's certain ; the horse 
can'tf ha' run away wi' un, or a' 'uldn't kick un so. — Sailor, j^ou 
be out o' yoiu: latitude." 

The circle, which Caddy Cuddle had made, was about two miles 
in circumference : he went precisely in the same direction again, 
without, in the least, suspecting his error; and having, as he 
thought, mastered four miles of his road homeward, and given 
his horse a tolerable breathing, he began to pull up by degrees, as 
he, for the second time, approached the little rustic lodge of Caddy 



CADDT CUDDLE. 47 

Park, from which he had issued at his departure. Norman again 
hailed him, for he felt tolerably satisfied that Caddy carried no 
other arms than those with which Nature had endowed liim. Caddy 
now knew the voice, and pulled up : — " Who's there ?" said he ; 
"A friend, I think; for I remember your tone. — Who are you, 
honest man f 

" Heaven help us, Mr. Cuddle!*' exclaimed Norman, "Are 'ee 
mad, sir, or how V* 

" Why, nipperkins ! Norman, is it you ?" 

« Ay, truly." 

^' And how got you here ? — I thought nothing had passed me 
on the road. Where are you going, honest Norman V* 

"Going! — I be going no-where," replied the gate-keeper; 
" I be here, where you left me. Why, doant'ee know, that you ha' 
been working round and round, just like a horse in a mill ? — And 
after all this helter-skelter work, here you be, just where you were !" 

"D — n the spectacles, then!" said Cuddle; "and confound 
all innovators ! — ^Why couldn't they let the country alone ? — I've 
taken the wrong turning, I si^pose V* 

" Yeas, — I reckon 't must be summat o* that kind : — there be 
four to the right, out o' the strait road, across the common ; the 
three first do bring 'ee round this way, t'other takes 'ee home : — 
but, odds! Muster Cuddle ! do'ee get off! — Here be a girth broke, 
— and t'other as old as my hat, and half worn through, as 'tis.— Oh ! 
you must go back; you must, truly, go back to the stables, and put 
the tackle in order." 

Cuddle seemed rather loath to return, but old Norman was 
inflexible : he led the horse inside the gate, which he safely locked, 
and put the key in his pocket, and then hobbled along, by the side 
of Caddy, toward the stables. As he passed the outer door of 
the house, he whispered to the porter, his fears for Cuddle's safety, 
if he were suffered to depart again, and begged that the porter 
would contrive to let his master be made acquainted with the cir- 
cumstance of Caddy's ride. 

The information was immediately conveyed to the dining-room, 
and half-a-dozen gentlemen, with the Honourable Charles Caddy 
at their head, immediately proceeded to the stables, where they 
found Cuddle, perspiring very copiously, and endeavouring to 
obtain information for his guidance, in his contemplated journey, 
from those, who were, from the same cause, as incapable of giving, 
as Cuddle was of following, correct directions. The Honourable 



48 CADDY CUDDLE. 

Charles Caddy, in spite of his good breeding, could not help laugh- 
ing, when he heard Cuddle's account of the affair ; but he very 
judiciously insisted on Cuddle's remaining at the Castle until morn- 
ing. Caddy vowed that he would acquiesce only on one condi- 
tion; which was, that a servant should be immediately dispatched 
to his cottage, to allay the fears of Mrs. Watermark ; and that 
such servant should be specially enjoined, not to blab a word of his 
mishap, to the good old gentlewoman. '' If he should," said Cuddle, 
'' Mrs. Watermark will be terrified, and we shall have her here 
before morning, even if she walk all the way." 

It was in vain that the Honourable Charles Caddy and his 
visitors entreated Caddy Cuddle to return to the table j he preferred 
retiring to rest at once. "Tou must put up with one of the ancient 
bed-rooms, cousin Cuddle," said the Honourable Charles Caddy ; 
" but you fear no ghosts, I apprehend ?" 

" Nipperkins ! not I !" replied Cuddle. " If I am to sleep out 
of my own bed, I care not if you place me in the most alarming 
room in the Castle. To confess the truth, — ^but this under the rose, 
cousin, — I feel a touch of the influence of Bacchus, and ' duke 
periculum est,* you know, when that's the case." 

The bed-chamber to which Cuddle was consigned, still retained 
its tapestry hangings; and the good man quivered, either with cold, 
or at the solemn appearance of the room, when he entered it. A 
very prominent figure in the arras actually appeared to move, as 
Cuddle sat down in a capacious old chair, at the right-hand side 
of the bed, to undress himself. After gazing earnestly at it, for 
a moment, with his stockings half drawn oS, he corrected himself 
for indulging in so ridiculous a fancy : — "None of these Pygmalion 
freaks," said he; "none of your Promethean tricks, Mr. Imagina- 
tion of mine : and yet, perhaps, I am accusing you wrongftiUy, 
and these mischievous glasses have endowed yonder figure with 
seeming vitality; I hope I may not break them, in a^et, before I 
get home." 

Caddy Cuddle was one of those unfortunate beings who 
accustom themselves to read in bed ; and who, from long habit, 
can no more compose themselves to sleep, without perusing a few 
pages, in their night-gear, than some others can without a good 
supper, or a comfortable potation. Caddy discovered two or three 
old, worm-eaten books, in a small table drawer, and selected that 
one which was printed in the largest type, for his perusal, when 
recumbent. It was a volume of tracts, on geomancy, astrology. 



CADDY CUDDLE. 49 

and necromancy. Cuddle read it with avidity, and by the time 
the small piece of candle, with which he had been furnished, was 
burnt out, he had filled his brain with images of imps and familiars. 
Finding himself, suddenly, in utter darkness, he laid down the 
book; and then, turning himself on his back, very soon fell asleep 

No man, perhaps, ever kept a log-book of his dreams ; ani 
yet, such an article would certainly be more amusing than man) 
an honest gentleman's diaiy ; for there are persons in the worli 
whose waking adventures are as dull and monotonous as the 
ticking of a clock, while their biography in bed, — their nightl}f 
dreams, — if correctly narrated, would, in some cases, be exceed* 
ingly droll ; and, in others, insupportably pathetic. The happiest 
people by day-light, often suffer agonies by night ; a man who 
would not harm a worm, with his eyes open, sometimes commits 
murder, and actually endures all the misery of being taken, tried, 
convicted, and half executed, in imagination, while he lies snug, 
snoring, and motionless, beneath a pair of Witney blankets. It 
is rash to say that any individual is, or, at least, ought to be, happy, 
until we ascertain how he dreams. A very excellent country 'squire, 
in the west of England, was once told, by a person of dis- 
crimination, that he appeared to be the most comfortable man in 
existence: — ^**Your desires are within your means;" — ^thus the 
'squire was addressed ; — '* your wife is most charming in temper, 
maimers, and person; your affection is mutual ; your children are 
every thing that a parent could wish ; your life has been so irre- 
proachable, that you must be as easy in mind as it is possible for a 
man to be : no one bears you malice ; on the contrary, every body 
blesses you: your house and your park are delightful; you are 
most felicitous, even in your servants and cattle ; you are natu- 
rally — " " True, true, to the letter," impatiently interrupted the 
'squire ; "but what's all the world to a man who, without why or 
wherefore, dreams that he's with old Nick every night of his life ?" 

Caddy Cuddle was not much addicted to dreaming ; but, on 
the night he slept in the ancient room, at Caddy Castle, he felt 
satisfied, as he afterward said, that in the course of a few hours, 
his imagination was visited with fantasies enough to fill a volume; 
although he could not recollect, with any distinctness, even one of 
them^ half an hour after he awoke. The moon was shining full 
upon the window, and making the chamber almost as light as day, 
with her radiance, when Caddy opened his eyes, after his first 
sleep, to satisfy himself, by the view of some familiar object, that 



50 CADDY CUDDLE. 

he was not among the strange creatures of whom he had been 
dreaming. Perched upon his nose, — threatening it with whip, as 
Caddy saw, and galling it with spur, as Caddy felt, — ^he beheld an 
imp, whose figure was, at once, more grotesque and horrible, 
than any of those which had flitted before his mind's eye, during 
his slumbers! The creature seemed to be staring at him with 
terrific impudence, and jockeying his feature, as though it were 
actually capable of running a race. Caddy's eye-balls were ahnost 
thrust out of their sockets with dismay ; his nether-jaw dropped, 
and he groaned deeply, under the influence of the visible nose- 
night-mare with which he was afflicted. For more than a minute, 
Caddy was incapable of moving either of his limbs ; but he sum- 
moned up resolution enough, at last, to close his eyes, and make 
a clutch at the flend, that rode his nose in the manner above 
described. With a mingled feeling of surprise, mortification, and 
joy, he found the nose-night-mare to be his spectacles ! — He had 
gone to sleep without removing them from his nose; and, by 
tumbling and tossing to and fro, in his dreams, he had displaced, 
and twisted them, sufiiciently, to assume a position and form, that 
might have alarmed a man of stouter nerves than Caddy Cuddle, 
on awaking in the middle of a moonlight night, after dreaming 
of more monsters than the German authors have ever located on 
Walpurgis Night in the Hartz. 

Caddy tried to compose himself to sleep again; but grew 
restless, feverish, and very uncomfortable : he beat up his pillow, 
shook his bed, smoothed his sheets, walked several times up and 
down the room, and then lay down again ;— determined, at least, 
to doze. But Morpheus had taken leave of him; and Caddy, at last, 
resolved on dressing himself, going down to the kitchen, and, as 
he had tobacco about him, to smoke a pipe, if he could find one, 
clean or dirty. He attributed his want of rest to not having 
indulged in his usual sedative luxury, before going to bed; and very 
resolutely taxed himself ^dth the commission of an egregious foUy, 
for having drank more than he ought Anthony Mutch's horse, 
and the Commissioners of the roads, he very copiously abused, 
while dressing himself: the spectacles were, however, the grand 
objects of his indignation ; but, bad as they were, he conceived 
that it was necessary to coax them into shape again, and mount 
them on his nose, previously to attempting, what he deemed, the 
perilous descent, from his chamber, which was on the third floor, 
to the kitchen below. Caddy, however, was too well acquainted 



CADDY CUDDLB* 51 

with the topography of the house, to incur much danger : more- 
over, the moon beamed with such brilliancy, through the glass 
dome that lighted the great circular staircase of Caddy Castle, 
that a man, much more short-sighted than our hero, might hare 
gone safely from the top to the bottom, without the assistance 
of glasses. 

In a hole in the kitchen chimney, Caddy found two or three 
short pipes ; he congratulated himself on the discovery, and im- 
mediately filled one of them from his pouch. The Castle was now 
as quiet as the grave ; and no soul, but Caddy himself, seemed 
to be stirring. He felt rather surprised to see the stone floor of 
the kitchen, for above a yard from the chimney, covered with 
embers of expiring logs, while the hearth itself was ** dark as 
Erebus." Caddy Cuddle, however, did not trouble himself much 
about this circumstance : he had often seen the kitchen in a similar 
condition, after a frolic, in Caddy Caddy's time ; and very gravely 
lighting his pipe, he deposited himself on a warm iron tripod,— 
which had been standing on the hearth, probably, the whole evening, 
— ^in preference to a cold oak chair. The .kitchen was comfortable, 
notwithstanding it was dark, (for the embers, as we have already 
stated, were expiring, and Caddy was without a candle,) and he 
smoked the pipe so much to his satisfaction, that he determined to 
enjoy another. Kicking the bits of burning wood together, as he 
sat, in order to light his tobacco, he, unintentionally, produced a 
little blaze, which proved rather disastrous to him : — as he stooped 
to light the pipe, he heard a noise, that attracted his attention ; 
Caddy looked about, and, on the spacious hearth, beheld some- 
thing, that bore a rude similitude to a human figure ! 

Caddy was rather alarmed ; and he uttered an exclamation, 
which seemed to rouse the object of his fears. It raised itself on 
its hands, and after staring Caddy full in the face, as he after- 
wards stated, began to uncoil itself and, at length, rose, and stood, 
tolerably terrified, to judge firom appearances, gazing at the 
odd-looking figure which Caddy cut, with his night-cap, spectacles, 
and pipe, on the large iron tkipod. Cuddle now perceived that his 
compapion, a* hough of masculine frame, was arrayed in female 
•A.bnim,nts, which were black as the exterior of an old stew-pan. 
t was Martha Jones, the scullion, a Welsh girl, who, whenever 
the could, indulged herself with a night*s rest, in her clothes, on 
the warm hearth of Caddy Castle kitchen, instead of a comfort- 
able bed in one of its turrets. On these occasions, she previously 



52 CADDY CUDDLE. 

■wept the embers from the hearth, to the stone floor; as Caddy 
Cuddle had fomid them, on entering to smoke his pipe. She was 
indulged in these and a few other odd vagaries, on account of her 
excellence as an under-strapper to the cook, who frequently said, 
that she could, and would, do more work in one day, than a 
brace of the ordinary run of scullions did in a week. Martha 
possessed a pair of immense muscular arms, which resembled, in 
hue, the outer leaf of a frost-bitten red cabbage : her cheeks were 
of the same colour, when clean; and shone, after a recent ablution, 
as though they had been smeared with bees -wax and turpentine, 
and polished by means of a furniture-brush. Caddy Cuddle, in 
his subsequent description of Martha, said, that her hair was jetty 
as a black cart-horse's tail ; — ^her Ups pouted like a pair of black 
puddings ; and her eye, — ^for truth to say, she had but one, — ^was 
as fiery and frightful ab that of a Cyclops. Martha's features were, 
however, though large, remarkably well-formed ; and more than 
one ploughman, in the neighbourhood, already sighed to make 
her a bride. 

After Martha had gazed, for more than a minute, at Caddy 
Cuddle, who ceased to pufl^ and almost to breathe, from the mo- 
ment the scullion had first begun to move, she burst out into a loud 
fit of laughter, in which she indulged for some time ; — occasionally 
stirring and raking the embers on the floor together, to create a 
better blaze, in order that she might enjoy a frill view of Caddy 
Cuddle, who was now quite as ludicrous in her estimation, as she 
had been terrible in his. Cuddle, at last, waxed wroth ; threw his 
pipe on the floor; thrust one of his hands beneath the breast of his 
waistcoat; placed the other- behind him, under the tail of his coat, 
which he considerably elevated by the action ; and, in this, as he 
deemed, most imposing attitude, asked Martha how she dared to 
insult one of her master's guests in that manner. — " Stand aside," 
continued he, " and let me withdraw to my chamber, woman !" 

" Ooman !" cried the scullion, ceasing to laugh in an instant, 
and putting on rather an alarming frown : — " Ooman ! — ^her name 
is Martha Jones, and no more a — ^Yes, her is a ooman, though^ 
tat's true ; — ^but Martha Jones is her name, and her will not be 
called ooman py nopoty, look you ; that is what her will not. — 
Ooman, inteet ! Cot pless her ! To live six long years in the 
kitchen of 'Squire Morgan, and one pesides, at 'Squire Caddy's, 
with a coot character, and her own aunt a laty, to be called ' ooman,' 
py a little man in a white night-cap ! look you, I sail tie first !" 



CADDT CUDDLE. 63 

Caddy Cuddle's experience with the woman-kind, as our excel- 
lent firiend, Jonathan Oldbuck ydepi the fair part of the creation^ 
was very limited : he had read of heroines, in the Latin and Greek 
anthors ; spoken to a few demi-savages, when a boy, during his 
nautical adventures in foreign parts; occasionally chucked a dairy- 
maid under the chin, when Bacehi pletnUf in the reign of Caddy 
Caddy, at Caddy Castle ; and had a few quirrels with his house- 
keeper, Mrs. Watermark. He was of opinion, irom what he had 
witnessed, that a little flattery was of sovereign virtue with the 
sex ; and, in order to escape from Martha's clutches, of which he 
felt in considerable awe, Caddy Cuddle essayed to soothe and allay 
the fever into which he had thrown the scullion by calling her a 
woman, with a few compliments. But, like all inexperienced 
persons, Caddy Cuddle could not hit the golden mean ; he over- 
stepped the mark so much, as to make honest Martha imagine that 
he really admired her. Caddy was not aware to what an extent 
his flattery was leading him : he plumed himself on his tact and 
discretion, when Martha's face began to relax into a smile ; launched 
boldly into hyperbole, as soon as she curtsied at his compliments ; 
and, in order to eflect a dashing retreat, by a bold coup-de-fliotfi, 
attacked the enemy with a brigade of classical metaphors. The 
scullion could hold out no longer; she strode over the intervening 
embers; clutched Cuddle in her colossal grasp; and, in an instant, 
she was seated on the tripod which he had previously occupiedt 
with the very alarmed little gentleman perched upon her knee. 

The nose-night-mare was a trifle, in Cuddle's estimation, com- 
pared with what he now endured : he struggled, and roared with 
all his might ;— called Martha Jones, ''Circe, Canidia, Scylla^ 
Medea, Harpy, Pol3rphemus, and Witch of Edmonton," without 
the least eflect : she seemed to consider all these appellatives as 
endearing epithets, and kissed Caddy, so vehemently, that he 
thought his heart would break. 

And it was not merely the warmth of the scullion's gratitude 
or afiection — ^whichever it might be — ^that so discomposed Caddy 
Cuddle; ^Martha, in striding across the blazing embers, had 
ignited her greasy, and, consequently, very combustible apparel ; 
and although she, in her raptures, seemed to be quite unconscious 
of the circumstance, Caddy Cuddle felt that the incipient flame 
had begun to singe his stockings. At length, Mistress Martha 
herself, became, somehow or other, cc^izant of the fact ; and 
she instantly threw Caddy Cuddle ofi* her knee, shrieked like an 



54 CADDT CUDDLB. 

infuriated mftniac, matched up the kitchen poker, and fiourished 
it about Caddy's head, threatening him, by her actions, with 
immediate annihilation ; as though he, good innocent man, had 
been the cause of the combustion. 

Luckily for Caddy and the scullion, their Ute-ortke had been 
so boisterous, as to have alarmed the Castle; and the French cook, 
with two or three other men-servants, burst into the kitchen at a 
very critical instant both for Caddy and Miss Jones. A bucket of 
water, dexterously applied by the coachman, quenched the blazing 
petticoats, and somewhat allayed the fiery heart of the scullion ; 
who retreated behind a pile of pots and kettles. While Caddy 
apostrophized the cook, Martha was loud in vituperation; the 
men-servants were noisy as Bedlamites; and the cuismier himseli^ 
a recently imported Frenchman, imprecated, very loudly, in his 
own language, — consigning Caddy, the scullion, coachman, and his 
fellow-domestics, with all other the English people, past, present, 
and to come, in one lot, to the care of King Pluto and his sable 
adherents. Alarmed at the uproar, the guests at Caddy Castle 
came in by twos and threes, and, in a few minutes, the kitchen 
was thronged. 

The Honourable Charles Caddy had scarcely closed his eyes, 
when the exclamations, from Caddy Cuddle and the scidlion, 
reached his ears ; the lovely Lady Letitia having amused herself 
by giving him a curtain lecture, of some two hours' duration,, after 
they had retired, on his gross and most apparent gallantry to the 
plainest woman among the visitors at the Castle. He leaped out 
of bed, on hearing the noise, rather to escape from the dulcet 
abuse of his beautiful better-half, than from any strong feelings 
of interest or curiosity ; and, as soon as he could make himself ik 
to be seen, hurried toward the place of declamation. There he 
found Caddy Cuddle, encircled by twenty or thirty people, (who, 
although they were his guests, and had dined with him, he posi- 
tively did not know in their night-ci^s,) exclaiming, prodigiously, 
against the scullion, and endeavouring, by dint of vociferation, to 
prove that he was not at all to blame. 

The Honourable Charles Caddy soon cleared the kitchen, when 
he found that nothing of consequence had occurred : the guests 
and servants retired; and Caddy Cuddle, after making several 
apologies and protestations of innocence, whatsoever the scullion 
might say of him, to his cousin, took up a candle, which somebody 
had left on the dresser, and marched off to the staircase. The 



CADDY CUDDLI. 55 

Honourable Charles Caddy, who had detained the cook, now inquired 
who and what the creature of darkness was behind the saucepans; 
and while the cook was explaining, and Martha Jones was giving 
^ most excellent account of herself, Caddy Cuddle proceeded toward 
his bed-K:hamber. As he passed Lady Letitia's door, he knocked, 
and whispered, through the key-hole, a long string of apologies, 
in which he was interrupted by the lady's husband; who, after 
politely marshalling him to his room, made him a most ceremonious 
and courtly bow, and wished him a very excellent good night 

Caddy paced two or three times up and down the room, lamentp 
ing his misfortunes, and inwardly vowing never to quit his cottage 
for a castle again. He was so anxious not to disturb the house- 
hold, that he neither stamped on the floor, nor groaned audibly; 
but rather ** stepped a-tip-toe," from the window to the fire-place, 
and thence to the window again, scarcely breathing as he moved. 
Finding but Utde relief from ibis state of constraint, he threw 
himself on the old chair that stood on the right-hand side of the 
bed, and began to recover a little of his usual good humour. He 
reviewed the circumstances which had happened during the night; 
and they now presented themselves in so droll a light to Caddy's 
mind, that he could not help smiling at his mishaps, and proceeded 

to unbutton his waistcoat. All at once, the remembrance of the 
I 

moving tapestry flashed across him, and his eye was instantly 
fixed on the figure that had alarmed him, previous to his retiring 
to rest. ** Surely," thought he, " it could not have been imagination, 
for it moveth, even now, most palpably! — or my visionary organs 
are singularly impaired; — or these new spectacles lead me into very 
unpleasant errors. Would that I had never accepted them !" He 
removed the suspected ofienders from his nose, wiped them care- 
fully with the tail of his coat, and was going to put them on again, 
when a tall, stout-built person, slipped out from behind the arras, 
and advanced, with hasty steps, toward him, exclaiming, " Soho ! 
friend Caddy Cuddle, you're come at last ! " 

" What, in the name of all that's good, art thou?" exclaimed 
Caddy, feeling surprised that he was not more frightened; — ** who 
art thou ?" 

'* Don't you know me, Caddy ?" said the intruder, laying his 
hand on Cuddle's arm ; who was very much pleased to feel that 
his visitor possessed the property of tangibility, and was, therefore, 
no ghost. — "Don't you know me, Caddy?" repeated the figure, 
in rather a reproachful tone. 



56 CADDT CUDDLE. 

" I dare say I should, sir, if you would permit me to put on 
my spectacles, — bad as they are," replied Caddy; " and if you'd 
step back a yard or two, so as to get, as it were, at the proper 
focus of my sight : — suppose you take a chair." 

The tall man retreated some paces, and Caddy put on his 
spectacles: — " Now, sir," said he, "we shall see : — ^Where are you? 
— Oh] I perceive — Why, bless my soul, sir — is it — can it be? Are 
these glasses really playing me tricks? or have I, in truth, leaped 
out of the frying-pan into the fire? — You surely can't be my very 
unfortunate and most respected friend, Caddy Caddy, of Caddy 
Castle!" 

" The same," replied the tail old man, with a sigh : — " Caddy 
Caddy, sir, of Caddy Castle." 

*' And how the nipperkins did you break loose?" cried Cuddle, 
rising from the chair, and advancing two or three steps. 

"Where now, where now, sir?" said Caddy Caddy, taking a 
gentle hold of Cuddle's arm : — " Where now, friend Cuddle ?" 

" Where? — why, to tlie door, doubtless! — ^Am I doomed to do 
nothing but alarm the castle ?" 

" Alarm the castle!" exclaimed Caddy Caddy; " are you out 
of your senses? why, they'd lock me up, man, if you did." 

" To be sure they would, and that's precisely what I want 
them to do. — My dear sir, I beg pardon ; I wouldn't give offence 
I'm sure, — ^neither to you nor the people of the Castle; but I can't 
help it. — You must allow me to give the alarm. — I cannot submit 
to be shut up with a madman." 

" So, then, you join in the slander, do you ?" said Caddy 
Caddy ; " Cuddle, you hurt me to the soul !" 

" Well, well, — lAy dear friend, — ^my respected friend, — I am 
sorry I said so ; — ^it was but in joke." 

" Cuddle," replied Caddy, " I was ruined by a joke : — somebody 
called me a madman, in jest ; the rest of the world joined in the 
cry, though it was a fool who gave tongue ; and, at last, they ran 
me down ; proved, to their own satisfaction, that I was out of my 
wits, for being in a passion with, and turning upon, those who 
were hunting me. Nothing is more easy than to prove a man 
mad : — ^begin, by throwing a slur upon his mental sanity ; watch , 
him narrowly ; view all he does with a jaundiced eye ; rake up a 
score of facts, which occurred a year apart, — ^facts that are really 
frolics, freaks, whims, vagaries, or what you will, of the like nature; 
place them all together, and the business is done ; you make as 



CADDY CUDDLE. * 57 

fine a picture of lunacy as a man would wish to look at I assure 
you, Caddy Cuddle, I am no more a lunatic than you are, — ^take 
my word for it ; so sit down and tune the fiddle." 

" Fiddle I what ?— where ?— which fiddle f" 

" Oh ! they allow me my fiddle ; I should go crazy in earnest 
without that. I left it behind the arras ;^-come — " 

" Come ! come where ?" I 

" Come and fetch it," said Caddy, dragging Cuddle toward the 
place from which he had issued. 

'^ Nipperkins, cousin!" cried Cuddle, ''go and get it yourself." 

''No, no," replied the other, with a knowing look; " If I were 
to do so, you'd slip out, while my back was turned, and raise the 
Castle. IVe had trouble enough to ehide their vigilance, during 
the hustle, to lose my liberty so easily again. By-and-bye, well 
go down stain together, and break open the cellar ; — ^it's all my 
own, you know, if right was cock of the walk. I'm for gamocks 
and junketting, I forewarn you, and we'll have a jolly night of it** 

By this time, Caddy had approached the arras, with Cuddle 
fast in his clutch ; he stooped down, and drawing forth an old 
fiddle and stick, put them into the hands of Cuddle ; who, as may 
readily be imagined, was by no means enamoured of his situation. 

"Now," said Caddy, "in the first place, my firiend, play 
Rowley Waters. I have been trying to recollect the two last bars 
of it for these three years, but I cannot. Do you remember how 
beautifully my drunken old butler, Bamaby, used to troul it?" 

"Ay, those were merry days, cousin," said Cuddle; "poor 
Bamaby ! his passion for ale laid him low, at last" 

" And many a time, before." 

" What I was it in time of your sanity ? I beg pardon — Do 
you remember, then, our finding him, fiat on his back, by the side 
of an untapped vat of the stoutest beer that ever Caddy Castle 
could boast? — ^Methinks I can see him now, with the gimlet in his 
hand, with which he had made an aperture in the cask, and sucked 
the blood of barley-ccMn, to such an abominable extent — ^the old 
beast did— that -— " 

" Don't asperse him. Cuddle," said Caddy ; " he put a peg in 
the hole before he died. He was the best of butlers; if he always 
drank a skinful, he never wasted a noggin. But now for Rowley 
Waters ; — ^play up, and IH jig." 

" No, no," Sidd Cuddle, laying down the instrument; " I'll do 
no such thing ; — ^I won't, by Jupiter ! — ^that's resolute." 

E 



58 CADDT CUDDLE. 

'* Well, then, 111 play, and you shall dance." 

" Don't make me swear," said Cuddle; "don't, Caddy Caddy! 
— What! raise a riot again? — ^You don't know, perhaps, that I 
have, already, sinned egregiously; — although, I protest, without 
the least evil intention. Besides, it would produce that very effect 
which you wish to — ^Eh! what was I saying? — ^WeU, I don't 
mind i£ I do give you one tune." 

"Thank you, kindly, cousin Cuddle," said Caddy, taking up 
the fiddle ; " hut you have raised an objection, which I admit to 
be of great weight Oh ! cousin Cuddle ! Did you want to betray 
me ? — I thank you for the hint : — ^we should, indeed, alarm my 
enemies. You overreached yourself, and saved me, cousin." 

" Well, I scorn a lie," replied Cuddle ; "such a thought as you 
suspect did occur to me ; for I protest I am not very comfortable 
in your company, much as I respect you. Go back to your bed ; 
do, pr'ythee now, be ruled — oblige me, cousin; — ^for yoiur own 
sake, go." 

" Oh! what a thing self-interest is!" exclaimed Caddy; "'for 
your own sake, go,' quoth he, when it is solely for his ! Cousin 
Cuddle, I shall not ; — ^that's a plain answer for you." 

Caddy now placed a chair immediately opposite to that one on 
which he had found Cuddle sitting, on his entrance ; he forced the 
alarmed little gentleman into his seat ; and, in a few moments, 
resumed the conversation. 

" Cuddle," ssdd he, looking very seriously, " as the world goes, 
I take you to be an honest man, and my friend. Now, I'll confide 
something to your ear that wiU perfectly astonish you. The people 
about me, don't know a syllable of the matter; I kept it snug from 
them ; if I had not, they would have restricted me to one room, 
instead of allowing me the liberty and use of three. — Draw your 
chair close. — About three years* since, I broke loose." 

" So I heard," said Cuddle, trembling as he remembered what 
had been related of Caddy's violence on that occasion. The great 
staircase of the better part of Caddy Castle, was circular, and sur- 
moimted by a magnificent dome, which lighted it completely down 
to the hall; Caddy had thrown himself over the banisters, and 
must, inevitably, have been dashed to pieces, had it not been for 
a scaffolding, which some workmen had erected within the circle 
of the staircase, for the purpose of repairing some part of the 
masonry, a few days before. Caddy fell among the people on the 
temporary platform, and was taken^ up, apparently, lifeless ; but, 



CADDT CUDSIE. 59 

in the course of a couple of months, his hodily hedth wae rettored, 
— ^his mental malady remaining nearly in its former state. 

*' You know," continued Caddy, ** of my lei^ ; I gare them 
the slip, then, cousin, in good earnest I fell a terrific depth, and 
did the business at once. I recollect the moment of my near 
approach to the scaffolding, of the erection of which, I was ignorant ; 
but, as it hqipened, it did not frustrate my intentions." 

" I feel very ailing — ^very indisposed, indeed," said Cuddle ; 
" pray, cousin Caddy, permit me to — " 

*' Nonsense !" exclaimed Caddy; " you are as well as ever you 
were in your life ; I am sure of it ; so hear me out :— of coiuse, you 
beard their account of restoring me to health ; — ^but they know 
nothing of the matter, cousin Cuddle : — ^when I seemed to them 
to revive, I felt that I was disemboeUed /" 

'* Disembodied !" cried Cuddle, staring wildly at Caddy. 

" Ay, disembodied, cousin," said Caddy; "and my sole with, 
except for Uberty, now is, to obtain a disembodied companion, 
who — " 

Cuddle could hear no more. To describe his thoughts or 
feelings at this moment, would be a task beyond the power of our 
feeble pen. We shall attempt, only, to relate his actions. — He 
threw himself back in the capacious chair which he had hitherto 
occupied, but by no means filled ; brought his knees on a level 
with, and as near as he possibly could to, his face ; and then, 
suddenly throwing out his legs, with all the energy he possessed, 
struck Caddy in the breast with his feet so violently, as, in an 
instant, to turn him and his chair topsy-turvy on the floor. He 
exhibited a specimen of that agility for which he had been famed 
in his younger days, as well in this, as in his subsequent proceedings. 
Skipping over Caddy and the chair, he flew to the door, and made 
for the staircase at full speed. It is useless to conceal that Cuddle 
was dreadfully frightened ; he heard Caddy striding after him at 
a fearful rate ; and felt satisfied, by the evidence of his ears, that 
his dreaded pursuer would very speedily overtake him. People in 
similar situations adopt plans for escaping, which men, sitting 
calmly over their cofiee, would never dream of. Cuddle knew that 
he should have no chance in a grapple with Caddy : it was ridi- 
culous to hope for help if he cried out; for, before any one could 
come to his assistance, Caddy would have sufficient time to disr 
embody his spirit; and his pursuer was evidently an over-match 
for him in speed. Cuddle was desperate : he suddenly detenninedi 

e2 



60< CADDT CUDDLE. 

on attempting to evade his enemy by a bold and dangerous 
manoeuvre. He leaped upon the banisters, which were massive and 
broad enough for a man to stand upon with ease ; caught hold of 
the rope, by which the dinner bell, above the cupola, was rung by 
the porter, in the hall below ; and threw himself upon it, — ^in a 
style which would have done honour to a thorough-bred seaman, — 
at the moment the tops of Caddy's fingers touched his heels. We 
cannot wait to describe the consternation into which the ringing 
of the dinner bell, at that time of the night, threw all the inmatea 
of Caddy Castle ;— ^our hero claims our undivided attention ; for 
his position was most perilous-*>-at least, in Cuddle's own opinion. 

Having descended, with moderate haste, for a few yards, 
he felt, by certtun jerks of the rope, that Caddy had followed 
his example, and was pursuing him down the rope, — ^with such 
hair-brained velocity too, as he very speedily ascertained, that he 
was in greater danger than ever. The rope was swung to and 
fro, by his own exertions and those of his enemy, — bumping him 
against the banisters with considerable force; but the blows he 
thus received were beneath his notice; he thought only of escaping. 
Finding that Caddy gained upon him, he contrived, as the rope 
swimg toward the side of the staircase, to catch hold of one of the 
stout iron rails of the banister ; — secure in his clutch, he quitted 
the rope with considerable dexterity, and had the satisfeuition, 
while he dangled, of seeing Caddy slide by him^ He now began 
to roar lustily; but his efifbrts wero needless, for almost every living 
creature in the house was already on the alert ; the watch dogs 
were barking without, and the lap-dogs within ; the ladies were 
shrieking; the gentlemen calling the servants, and the latter won* 
dering, and running here and there, exceedingly active, but not 
knowing what to do or what was the matter. By degrees, llie 
male portion of the inhabitants of the Castle became concentrated 
in the hall : lights were procured ; and while the ladies and their 
attendants peeped over the rails of the great staircase, in their 
night-caps, to watch the proceedings of the party below, Martha, 
armed with the kitchen poker, volunteered to search every hole 
and comer in the Castle : but her master forbade her on pain of 
his displeasure ; " For," said he, ** I feel satisfied that it is a dis- 
graceful hoax of some scoundrel in the house, who shall certainly 
be ducked if ever I discover him. — Is any one absent ?" 

" All the men servants are here, sir," said the coachman ; 
** and aU the gentlemen, too, I think." 



CAODT CUDDLE. 61 

** No, they are not," exclaimed Martha, fdih a ladicroof grin ; 
** where is my sweetheart, can you tell P — ^I do not see him.** 

«'0h! he*8 fast adeep, good man!** said the Honouiahle Charles 
Caddy. 

^ I wish he were ; — ^I do most sincerely wish he were ! ** qnoth 
Cuddle, who had released himself, by his own exertions, from his 
pendent position, and was now hasteaiing down the lowest flight 
of stairs. " You may stare, my good host ;** continued he, ^ but 
to sleep in Caddy Castle is perfectly impossible I ** 

''So I find, to my cost,** replied the Honourable Charles 
Caddy ; ^ and if I can find out the rascal who — ** 

''Do not waste time in threats,** said^Cuddle ; "but fly-'dis- 
perse, in quest of my respected, unhappy friend, poor Caddy 
Caddy, who has been with me this half hour, and would have 
disembodied me, if I hadn*t given hun a kick in the stomach, and 
put my trust in the bell-rope.** 

At the request of his host. Cuddle gave a hurried detail of 
what had taken place between himself and Caddy Caddy ; while 
those domestics, who had the immediate care of the lunatic, 
hastened up to his rooms. They returned just as Cuddle had 
concluded, and stated that Caddy Caddy was undressed, and fiist 
asleep in his bed ; — ^that they found the doors locked, and every 
thing about the apartments in the precise state in which they had 
left them. One of the party said, that he slept in the next room 
to Caddy Caddy, and was quite certain that he should have been, 
as usual, roused, had the lunatic but merely moved : and as to 
the old Squire having been at large, the fellow swore that it was 
impossible. 

It was useless for Cuddle to vow and solemnly declare that 
Caddy Caddy had been with him, in the face of this evidence : the 
gentlemen shook their heads ; the men grumbled ; the ladies on 
the stair-case tittered ; and their maids pronounced Mr. Cuddle*s 
conduct to be altogether shocking. 

" It is a very distressing case,** said the Honourable Charles 
Caddy ; " and I protest I never was in so awkward a situation be- 
fore. I feel bound to apologize,** continued he, "to every lady 
and gentleman in the Castle, for the uproar, which my relation, 
Mr. Caddy Cuddle, has, doubtless, unintentionally, produced. I 
am bound to add, in justice to myself, that, upon my honour as a 
gentleman, I had not the most remote idea that either of my 
guests was a somnambulist.** 



62 CADDT CUDDLE. 

"bitpoBsibletbstTvncimalladetotneF" excltumed Cadd; 
Cuddle. " la my veracity impeachedF Am I to be a martyr to 
OUT poor mad idstion's freaks ? — Or, posnbly, you will teU me 
tbat I ought to doubt the eTidence of my own aeuBes ? " 

" I never presume," nas the reply, " to dictate to a goitlanan 
OD so delicate a point. Perhaps you will allow one of my aervonti 
to wait on you during the remainder of the night." 

" m do iu> Buch thing," add,Caddy Cuddle : " let the bone 
be saddled directly. VD. go borne at once, and'endeavoor to nutke 
my peace with Mrs. Watermark, from whom I expect and merit a 
very severe lecture, for bo cruelly cutting up her feelings as to 
stay out a whole night nearly. Cousin Caddy, good b'ye ; ladies 
and gentlemen, your servant." 

Caddy Cuddle immediately departed, vowing, per Jovem, aa he 
went, never, after that morning, to bestride Anthony Mutch's 
horse, — to dine at Caddy Castle, or any where else out of his own 
house, — or to pvt on a strange pair of spectacles again. 



THE BRAINTREES. 

It was the boast of old Samuel Cough, who, during a period of 
thirty-two years, had been landlord of The Chough and Stump, — 
a litde, old-fashioned house, with carved oaken angels supporting 
the roof of its porch, — ^that, notwithstanding the largest road-side 
farm-house in the village had been licensed and beautified; though 
tiles had been substituted for its old thatch; a blue sign, with 
yellow letters, fixed over its entrance ; and a fingeivpost erected at 
the top of the lane, about the middle of which his own tenement 
stood, directing travellers to The New Inn, — The Chough and 
Stump stiU "bore the bell/' " Richard Cockle," he would often 
say, " being twenty years butler to old 'Squire Borfield, ha' made 
friends among the gentlefolks. The petty sessions is held in his 
best parlour, now and then ; he hath a' got a pair of post-horses, 
and tidy tits they be, I must say; his house is made post-office; 
and excise-office, to the tail o' that — ^for this and the five nearest 
parishes ; he pays for a wine license, and hath two or three gen- 
tievolks, may be, once a month, for an hour or two ; but not much 
oftener, as there be few do travel our cross-country road ; and he 
do call one room in his house a tap : — ^but for all that, and his 
powdered head to boot, gi' me The Chough and Stump still." 

Gough's boast was not altogether without warranty : his com- 
fortable, old-fashioned kitchen, with its bacon-rack, broad hearth, 
dingy waUs, and rude mantel-slab, enriched with strange hlero- 
glyphical scratches, in which his neighbours traced, or affected to 
trace, the names of their grandfathers, was endeared to the 
inhabitants of the village ; — ^there were old feelings, and pleasant 
associations connected with it. Sam Gough was a jolly host, who 
regaled himself, among his guests, from morning till night ; habitual 
drinking, for a long time, having rendered him, as Abel Harris, the 
schoolmaster of the village, said, " invulnerable to intoxication :" 
he not only could, but often did, sing a good old song, and tell a 
good old story ; — ^never repeating either the one or the other on the 
same day ; for he was orderly in his entertainment, and had his 
Monday's songs and his Tuesday's songs, as well as his morning 
stories and his evening jokes : he never sponged upon a customer 



64 THE BRAINTREES. 

but paid his share of the reckoning to his wife, who officiated as 
mistress, while he appeared to be only a constant guest His ale 
was generally " clear as amber, sweet as milk, and strong as 
brandy." In the tap of The New Inn, which was the name of 
the rival house, the company generally consisted of the postilion 
and ostler of the establishment, a few out-door servants from some 
of the neighbouring gentlemen's houses, and three or four of the 
gayest, youthful, vUlage bucks : but the elderly and middle-aged 
men, — "the substantials," as Abel Harris called them, usually 
congregated, to smoke their evening pipes, round the oak in front 
of The Chough and Stump, when the weather would permit, or in 
the kitchen settle, before a blazing fire of logs and turf, when the 
rustics sat up three or four hours after sunset 

Schoolmaster Abel, although he was one of the pair of parish 
constables, patronized The Chough and Stump, and grumbled 
mightily at being obliged to pay five shillings for a dinner, once a 
year, at the New Inn, with the churchwardens, and other official 
persons of the parish ; which dinner had been instituted solely for 
the benefit of Richard Cockle, and much against the incUnation 
of several of those, who were almost compelled, on account of 
their connexion with his wealthy supporters, to attend it It was 
at The Chough and Stump that all the village news was to be 
heard ; and if one of its customers were not found at his post, on 
the settle, at the usual hour, old Gough concluded, that he was 
either bad, busy, or gone to the rival tap, to glean gossip about 
the great families, from the servants, in order to retail it, the next 
bight, to the grateM crew at The Chough and Stump. 

One winter's evening, although it was neither a Saturday, a 
k>liday, nor a fast day, the settle was not only completely occu- 
pied, but several occasional visitors to the old kitchen were closely 
packed along a narrow bench that ran across the back waU. Many 
of the poorer inhabitants of the place were lurking about the 
porch, and several women, with their check aprons thrown over 
their red and almost frost-bitten elbows, stood peeping in at the 
window, and eagerly listening to an old dame, who had placed 
her ear to a little comer from which the glass had been broken, 
and occasionally repeated what she heard passing within. 

" I do pity the mother o' the lad, troth do I," said a woman 
about twenty-five years of age ; " her hath a got but one zon— 
no more have I — and truth to speak, I do pity her." 

" And well thou may'st. Tabby Mudford," said the old dame; 



THE B&AIKTB118. 65 

" for constable Abel baih just a' told thy husband, that the boy's 
taken off in a cart, wi' 'Squire Stapleton's coachman a one side 
o' un, and constable Tucker o' t'other, hand-cuffed, and leg-fast, 
to the county gaoL" 

'* Poor Meg Braintree! poor soul!" cried seveml of the women, 
on hearing this, and one or two of them actually began to sob 
aloud. 

<<Poor Meg Braintree, forsooth!" exclaimed a little shaip- 
nosed female, with a high-H»uled cap, and leathern stomacher ;^- 
*' I don't zay no zuch ztuff— not I," added she, in a shrill, dis- 
agreeable voice ; '* it hath a' come home to her now; and I said 
it would, two-and-twenty years agone come Candlemas, when she 
scoffed and vlouted poor Phil Govier, and took up wi' Zaul 
Braintree, a'ter she'd a' most a' promised, as I have heard tell, to 
marry PhiL In my mind, he loved her better, worse luck vor un, 
poor vellow, than ever this Zaul Braintree did, and took on so for 
two or dree year a'ter, that there was some that thought he'd never 
ha* got over *t." 

<<yor shame. Aunt Dally," said Tabby Mudford; "Meg 
Braintree never done you wrong." 

« I don't know that," replied Dolly. 

" It be true, I ha' heard mother zay, you cocked your cap at 
Zaul, yourself; as you did to many more, though you never could 
trap any body to have 'ee, aunt ; but I never could believe it" 

''The vellow did, once upon a time, look up to me," said 
Dolly, lifting her chin, and curling her thin and slightly-bearded 
lip ; " but I scorned 'un. I wouldn't ha' had un if his skin were 
atuffed wi' gold." 

" And yet you do blame Meg vor scorning Phil Govier I Vor 
my part, — I were a child, to be zure, — ^but by what I do recollect 
of 'em, I'd rather ha' had Zaul, wi'out a zhoe to 's.voot, than 
Philip Govier, if every hair on the head o' un were strung wi' 
pearls." 

"Don't talk to me, Tab," cried her now incensed aunt, 
flouncing off; " it don't become thee. I do zay it ha' come home 
to her ; — ^her zon be zent to the county gaol, vor murdering the 
man whose heart she a'most broke more than twenty year agone : 
— ^get over that if you can. It ha' came home to her, and 111 
bide by it ; — ^wi' her blue clocked ztockiugs, and putting up her 
chit of a daughter to smirk wi' the young 'squire! — ^I ha'n't a' got 
patience wi' zuch pride." 



60 THE BRAIKTREES. 

The Bupenriflor, who was going his roimds, and intended to 
sleep that night at The Chough and Stump, now rode up, on his 
sturdy little grey coh; and before he could alight, some of the 
loiterers about the porch had, in part, acquainted him with the 
cause of their being assembled round the inn-^oor. The old man, 
however, as he said^ could make " neither head nor tail " of what 
he heard ; and hastened, as well as lus infirmities woidd allow, 
into the kitchen. The landlord rose on his appearance, and con- 
ducted the spare and paral3rtic old man, to the post of honour, in 
the settle, between his own seat and that of the exciseman, — a 
cunning-looking, thick-set, fat, or, to use an expressive West 
Country adjective, podgy, little man, between forty and fifty; with 
a round, sallow, bloated face, begemmed here and there with 
groups of pimply excrescences, resembling the warts that are 
occasionally seen on the cheek that is turned to the sun of a 
wounded pumpkin. One of the exciseman's eyes glared at his 
beholder, dull and void of expression, while the other was almost 
concealed beneath its lids ; — ^a circumstance occasioned by an invet- 
erate habit of winking, all his life, at every tenth word, with the 
latter; which operation he was totally unable to perform with the 
former. 

" Here hath been a sad to-do, sir," said Gough, addressing 
the supervisor, as soon as the latter was comfortably seated ; " a 
sad to-do, indeed." 

" Ah I so I hear, Gough, — so I hear; — ^but what is it? — No 
affiray with the excise, I hope." 

" No — ^fear of — ^that, sir," replied the exciseman, winking, and 
pufi&ng the smoke from his lips thrice as he spoke ; " we've no 
enemies here. — 111 tell you all — about it — sir, when — I have 
wetted — ^my lips." He now raised the jug to lus mouth, but before 
he had finished his draught, little Tailor Mudford, who sat by his 
side, taking advantage of the moment, placed his right elbow on 
his knee, and still keeping his pipe between his teeth, leaned 
forward, and bore away the glory of the announcement from the 
exciseman, by stating, that Philip Govier, 'Squire Stapleton's 
gamekeeper, had been killed ; and young Robert Braintree com- 
mitted for trial, as the perpetrator of the crime. 

"Robert Braintree! Robert Braintree!" calmly repeated the 
old man ; " Preserve us from evil ! Haven't I seen him ?" 

" To be sure you have, sir," replied Gough ; "a tall, straight- 
limbed chap, between eighteen and twenty, and as fine a young 



THE BRAINTKEE8. 67 

feDow as ever stood in shoe-leather. I shouldn't ha' thought it 
of him." 

" I should," said the exciseman; " a down-lookingp — " 

" Ah ! I he zorry vor the lad," said Mudford, again inter* 
rupting the exciseman, in the brief interval occupied by a puff and 
a wink ; " nobody could zay harm o' un, except that his vather 
made un go out a poaching wi' un, and so vorth : but a zung in 
the choir o* Zindays ; and though he never were asked so to do, 
often joined in, wi' the rest o' th' neighbours, to reap a little 
varmer's bit o' wheat, or mow a tradesman's whoats ;-^he ha' done 
zo by me, many's the time, wi'out any thing but thanks, and a 
bit o' dinner and a drop o' drink, which he never wanted at home. 
He'd ha' been the last I should ha' zuzpected." 

** But the evidence," said constable and schoolmaster Abel, 
" the circumstantial evidence, doth leave no doubt, either in the 
mind of me, or the magistrate, of his guilt" 

" You be d — d, Yeabel !" cried a bluff old fellow in a comer; 
** Who be you, I should like to know? — ^Marry come up, then ! 
times be come to a vine pass, I trow, when a pig^vaced bit of a 
constable, two yards long, and as thin as a hurdle, do zet hi'zelf 
up cheek-by-jowl wi' the 'squire ! — ^Who cares vor thy opiniooy 
dost think ?" 

'^ Farmer Salter," responded Abel, with affected humility; 
'* I am educating your son and heir : — ^you are a freeholder, and 
ha' got a vote for the county — " 

" I know that weU enough, stupid ! and zo had my vather 
avore me, and so shall my zon a'ter me. — Poor buoay ! you ha' 
often licked un, Yeabel : — ^may be you be right — ^may be you 
bean't ; but this I do know, tho' I ha'n't a told un zOy that I do 
vind, upon casting things over, whenzoever I do gie you a bit ov 
a clumzy wipe here, at The Chough and Stump, over night. 
Jack's zure and zartin to get breeched in your school-room the 
next day : now that be odd, yean't it, Gough ?" 

'' Farmer Salter," piumied Abel, as Gough nodded in acqui- 
escence, and Salter chuckled at what he had said; "I repeat, you 
are a freeholder : — ^you've a slip of land between the two 'squires' 
estates, upon which you and your fore&thers ha' grazed a cow, 
raised a crop of wheat, hay and potatoes, to last 'ee for the year; 
and built a small edifice for yourselves, and a sty for your pigs : 
you do wear a looped hat at all times, and, on Sundays, a blue 
coaty wi' a red collar and cuffi, and crown pieces of the reign of 



68 THE BRAINTREES, 

King Jacobus, for buttons; a flowered and flapped waistcoat; 
leather breeches, wi' seven-shilling pieces and silver buckles at the 
knees; and half a pack o' cards figured wi' colours in each o' your 
stockings : you do strut up to church, just as a 'squire would, and 
your father did, — whose finery you ha' saved for such service, — 
half a century ago : — but you know nothing either of law or good 
breeding for all that, farmer Salter." 

The freeholder was about to bristle up indignantly when Abel 
concluded, but Zachaiy Tickel, the hereditary herbalist, or, as he 
denominated himself, apothecary of the village, whose nick-name 
was " Bitteiv Aloes," — and there were few of his neighbours who 
were not as well known by some equally appropriate baptismal of 
the laity, — took him by the collar, and endeavoured to tranquillize, 
wliile he forcibly held him on his seat: — ^meantime, the super- 
visor inquired what had induced the constable to suspect Robert 
Braintree of the murder. 

" Why, zir," said Mudford, cutting in, as a coachman would 
express it, before Abel and the exciseman, (each of whom intended 
to reply,) while the asthmatic constable was cleansing his throat by 
two or three hems, and the exciseman was pufiing out a magazine 
of smoke, which, at that moment, he had drawn into his mouth, 
to be retailed and divided into a dozen or twenty whifis ; — " the 
vact, zir, is this," said Mudford ; " the body were vound, dead 
and stiii) this morning, in the copse, t'other zide o' the hill; — 
there was a nail or more of znow on the ground, and vootsteps 
ov a dog and a man were traced vrom the body to Braintree 's 
cottage : — ^the dog's vootsteps were, likely enough, the vootsteps 
QV Ponto, a dog belonging to the Braintrees; a zort oy a cross- 
bred pointer, az ztrong as a bull, and wi' more zense in his tail- 
end, as the zaying is, than many men ha' got in their whole 
bodies, head and aU." 

" The shoe-marks, permit me to observe," said Abel, " were 
decidedly made by the shoes of Bob Braintree : — I've sworn to't, 
because I compared 'em; and I apprehended him wi' those iden- 
tical shoes on his feet." 

"Now, d'ye hear, volks? — d'ye hear?" exclaimed farmer 
Salter ; " how Yeabel do belabour us wi' vine dixonary words ? 
'Apprehended,' and 'identical,' quotha! — Why, I should be 
azhamed to talk zo-vashion. ' Hiose identical zhoesf zays he ; — > 
* those !' — ^Bless us, how vine we be ! — * Those,' vorsooth I — ^Why 
doan't the vool zay ' they there zhoes,' like a man?" 



THS BRAINTRBX8. 69 

Abel cast a glance of contempt on the freeholder, hut did noi 
condescend to reply. A brief silence ensued, which was broken 
by the herbalist; who observed, after throwing himself back in th« 
settle, " Bad bird, bad egg — that's all I've to zay. I bean't so com- 
passionate, and all that, as zome volk. How hath Zaul Brain* 
tree ha' got his living vor eighteen year past, but by zmugg^^ 
and poaching, and, may be, worse, vor what I know ? Why we» 
he discharged by 'Zquire Ztapleton, but vor doing what he shoiL* 
not do? Didn't poor Phil Govier, that's lying dead, when he wen 
under Zaul, detect and prove to the 'zquire, that instead o' ZauTs 
doing his duty, as game-keeper, he were lulling hares upon the 
zly, and zending 'em to market? And when Phil got Zaul's 
place, have they ever met without looking at one another Uke a 
couple o' dogs that was longing vor a vight, and yet stood ofi^ as 
though they were aveard to pitch into one another ? What d'ye 
think Braintree hath instilled into Bob, but hatred and malice 
against Govier ?" 

<< You may talk and talk, dd Bitteiv Aloes," said Salter; «bul 
vor my part, diough the 'zquire believed Govier's story, and turned 
away Zaul, in a way enough to nettle a parson, I didn't think it 
quite as it should be. I ha' zeen things o' Phil, what I won't tell 
ov, now he's gone, as I didn't while he were alive ; but if I had 
to choose, vor all Phil's quiet tongue and humble looks, — which 
were all zlyness, in my mind, — ^gi'e me Zaul, I zay." 

" Well," quoth Gough, " I say nothing — ^why should I? Bur 
Bob was a good boy ; and though he'd noose a hare, or decoy a 
vlock o' wild ducks, or stalk a covey, I don't think he'd any harm 
in him. He'd do what Zaul bid him, to be zure, but I don't think 
Zaul would ever tell him to commit murder ; and if I must speak 
my mind — I don't agree wi' Abel Harris." 

"Abel — I must say," — ^muttered the exciseman, "the con- 
stable, I mean ; — he — ^he's no conjuror." 

" I can't make out," growled Salter, " how he came to be 
made constable, zeeing az he's the most imcapable man in the 
parish. I ha' zeed im run, as if 'twere vor his life, when he 
thought nobody were nigh, vrom my gander! — Poor Jack! 
thoult zufier, may be, vor this to-morrow; — but I can't help 
speaking the truth. Yeabel, doan't thee baste un, or dang me 
if I doan't drash thee!" 

"There is one thing," remarked a spare, but hale-looking 
man, who sat next the herbalist, " one thing, or, may be, a thing 



70 THE BEAINTREE8. 

or two, 111 make bold to observe, which is, namely, this: — ^though 
Zaul Braintree were never over and above vriendly to I — ^that be 
nothing — i!he man's a man — and I do zay, the 'zquire were a bit 
too hard upon Zaul, to turn un off wi'out more nor an hour's 
notice, and not gi'e un a good character: — ^and what tot, I 
wonder? — Because this here Phil Govier, a demure, down-looking 
twoad, zaid a' poached a bit ! A'ter this, what were Zaul to do ? 
Wi'out a character, he couldn't get a zarvice, and a poor man 
bean't to starve : zo a' poached, and that in downright earnest ;-^ 
and it ztrikes I, no blame to im neither." 

''Oh! fie! fie!" exclaimed the supervisor; ''you should not 
preach so, friend ; the practice of poaching is higUy illegaL" 

"Highly illegal, — indeed, — John, — that is, — James Cobb," 
said the exciseman, in his usual manner; " we must not hear — 
this sort of a — ^thing ; must we,— constable ?" 

" Why, it bean't treason, master exciseman, be it ?" asked a 
tall old fellow, who stood at the end of the settle. 

"Do you hear — ^that?" said the exciseman, turning to his 
superior; "do you hear that? — ^and he an earth-stopper, — anc( 
gets his bread by — ^the game laws." 

The supervisor looked aside toward the bottom of the narrow 
table, and while the ensuing conversation went on, took a deliberate 
view of the earth-stopper's person, apparel, and accoutrements* 
He was a squalid-looking figure, with half a week's growth of 
grey beard on his chin and cheeks ; the e^e of a red woollen 
night-cap, which he wore under a weather-beaten dog's-hair hat, 
was strained across his pale, wrinkled brow ; his legs were thin, 
puny, and bent outward in such a manner, that they seemed to 
have been moulded on the carcase of a horse. 

" Well," quoth the earth-stopper, in reply to the exdseman's 
jobservation, shouldering his pick-axe and shovel, and lighting the 
candle in his lanthom, as he spoke; " I zuppose a man may move 
bis tongue, if a* be a yearth-stopper, — or else what be the use o't 
to un ? — I were one o' the virst to lay hands on young Braintree, 
and always ha' ztood vorward <m zuch like 'casions ; but what o' 
that ? I'd help to take up thee, or thy belters by the zide o' thee 
there, if thee wert zuzpected and accused; but vor all that, I'd 
speak up my own mind, and zay, I thought thee wert innocent, 
iv zo be as I did think thee zo— mind me :— and now you ha' put 
me up, I'll go vurther, and ask 'ee, what business had Phil Govier 
a' got in the copse that time o' night!" 



THE BRAINTR£E8. 71 

"Ay, that's true," observed the landlord; ''for it be well 
known the 'squire's strict orders was, that the keepers shouldn't go 
out o' nights. * Let the poachers have a little o' their own way,' 
I have a heard un say ; — ' I'd rather lose a few head o' gam^ 
than ha' blood shed upon the manor ; and meetings by nigh^ 
betwixt poachers and keepers, often do end worse than either one 
or t'other a' looked for.' " 

^* It's true az I be here zitting," said Mudford; "that the 
gamekeeper, — I mean Phil Govier, of course, — had a' got a hare in 
one pocket, and a cock pheasant in t'other; — I zeed 'em myself." 

" Come, come ; — ^no ill o' the dead, pr'ythee, now," quoth the 
herbalist. 

" No ill o' the dead !" cried the man who sat next to him ; " I 
do zay yea, iv it be truth; and moorauver, in my mind, it be 
better to zay vorty iks, even, of them that be gone, than to tell 
CMie that may do harm to them that be living. Them wer'n't the 
▼irst Phil pocketed, by night or by day, vor his own profit, as I 
do think. 'T'ant dear to I, that a' didn't play voul wi' Zaul, long 
ago ; — I wouldn't lie down upon my back and zwear that a' didn't 
kill the game what he 'cuzed Zaul o' poaching, and zo got 
Braintree out of his place, and popped into't hi'zelf." 

" This is going too far, landlord," said the supervisor. 

« Do 'ee think so, sir?" asked Gough, with a knowing look, 
accompanied by a shake oi the head, which finished in an acqui- 
escent nod to the man who sat next the herbalist. 

Mudford asked the constable if Saul had seen his son after the 
committal of the latter. Abel replied, that an interview had been 
permitted by the magistrate, just previously to Robert's removal ; 
" which interview," added he, " took place in the presence of 
myself and colleague." 

" And what did 'em zay?" eagerly inquired thre^ or four of 
the persons present. 

The constable replied, that it would be highly improper for 
him to divulge all that took place, even if he were capable of so 
doing; but there was much that he did not hear, and more that 
he had forgotten. One part of the brief dialogue he perfectly 
well remembered : — after having whispered for a short time, the 
youth said aloud, " But I be innocent, vather; you be zure I be." 
— "Well, weUI" replied Braintree, in a low, but nevertheless, 
audible tone; "zuppose things should go against thee, woult thee 
die like a man, Bob?" — " I doan't know, vather, — I be but a boy! 



72 TttE BRAINTREE8. 

Ill try, iT it do come to that; I hope it won't, though ; vor I be 
aveard I can't bear it — I can't, truly, vather." '' Zo, thee dost 
call thyself a buoy, dost?" said Saul; ** a vellow here within a head 
as high as I be, and gone eighteen these ziz weeks !" '* You 
always tells me I be but a boy." ** Well, and zo I do— thee'rt 
my boy ; but a boy to nobody else. But I zay. Bob, woul't thee 
mind now, and speak up to the lord judge just what I told thee?" 
''Yeas, doan't be aveard." ''Ah! but woul't tell't cool and 
zober-vashion. Bob?" "Never you vear," repUed Robert; — 
"bless'ee, I shall tell't out to un, just as iv I were telling out 
zixpenn'orth o' ha'pence." " And Bob—" But here Braintree's 
voice subsided into a whisper again, and Abel heard no more of 
that part of the conversation. 

The parties in The Chough and Stump kitchen now ceased the 
regular sort of discussion which had hitherto been supported, and 
talked in couples. The earth-stopper and Abel Harris, by their 
looks and gestures, seemed to be maintaining a warm debate ; the 
herbalist crossed over and took a place next the supervisor, which 
tailor Mudford relinquished in his favour, and sat down by the 
aide of &rmer Salter. So many persons speaking together, had 
not, for some time, been heard in The Chough and Stump ; but 
though his customers made a great noise, as Gough observed to 
the exciseman, they drank but little. This was, indeed, the case; 
for the interest created by the subject of their discourse, made 
them almost forget their cups. Each of the speakers grew louder 
in his tone, in order to make himself heard and understood, amid 
the " hubbub," by his listening neighbour ; and thus the general 
noise was increased to such a degree, that the exciseman had 
already taken up his empty mug to strike the table, and call 
" order," when, in an instant, every tongue was motionless, and 
every eye turned toward the door. A man, on the autumnal 
side of the prime of life, exceeding the middle stature, with 
rather handsome features, had just entered. He was dressed in a 
round, grey, frock coat, a deer-skin waistcoat, corduroy small- 
clothes, and jean gaiters. His frame was athletic, but by no 
means clumsy ; he looked calmly about him, or, perhaps, rather 
ajSected to do so; for, as the herbalist afterwards remarked, his 
lips appeared as if they had just been blanched with boiling water. 
A very large, stout-built, liver-coloured dog, stood before him, 
wagging his tail, and looking up in his master's face, as the latter 
remained, for a moment, motionless, and with his eyes seeking 



THE BRAINTREES. JS 

for a vacant place on the settle. Every seat had its tenant, and 
no one moved for the newly-arrived guest, or spoke either to him 
or to any other person present 

" Why, Tolks ! you do all zeem dazed ov a zudden !" said the 
man, ironically ; and then immediately assuming an angry expres- 
sion of countenance, he turned to the landlady, who had just 
entered the kitchen, and, in a sharp, surly tone, called for " a 
pint o' drink." 

** I ha* heen trying to squeeze room for thee, Zaul," said the 
landlord, addressing his new guest; **but I can't" 

" Don't trouble thyself, Gough," said farmer Salter, from the 
opposite side of the settle ; " I he vor home, and Braintree can 
take my comer in a minute." 

" Thankye, master Zalter," replied Saul ; " but Abel Harris 
ha' just stepped out, and, may be, won't come back ; zo 111 zit 
down in his place ; and iv a' do return, I can but gie't up to un 
again; and by that time, you can vinish your pipe wi' comfort" 

So saying, Braintree took possession of a nook in the settle, 
which Abel had quitted, in consequence of the landlady having 
beckoned him out, while Gough was speaking to Saul. Two or 
three of the guests attempted to strike out new subjects for con- 
versation, but their efforts were ineffectual; and when Dame 
Gough came in, with Saul's ale, she found her customers, who 
had lately been so clamorous, silent as statues. Braintree lifted 
the cup to his lips, but immediately placed it on the table again, 
without swallowing a spoonful. 

" Why, what's the matter, Zaul?" said Gough; "have a mad 
dog bit 'ee, that you do gasp and heave at the liquor so ?" 

" There were a bit o' hop got in my mouth," replied Saul ; " and 
your yeale bean't zo good to-night, I think, as 'twere; — ha'n't 
it got a strawberry smack ?" 

" No, no, Zaul ; your mouth be out o' taste wi' trouble, — that 
be it ; — ^there's no fault in the ale. You do want comfort in a 
closer compass ; and if youll ha* a drop o' Hollands, my wife will 
give 'ee some and welcome. Though I don't sell spirits, I can't 
help Dame Gough's keeping a bottle in her bureau ; — it stops her 
tooth-ache." 

" You be cruel good, master Gough," replied Saul ; " and I 
do thank 'ee vor't ; but I don't like to drink in a public-house, 
wi'out paying my penny for a landlord's penn'orth." 

" Oh ! that be folly," said Gough ; " but come; gi'e me your 



74 THE BRAINTREES. 

pint o' drink, and 111 treat you wi' a glass o' Hollands. — ^Dame, 
bring in a thiuible-full." 

Dame Gough bustled out, and soon returned with a small 
old-fashioned teacup, Ml of the liquor. Saul took the cup, and 
80 far forgot his manners, as to swallow the spirits it contained, 
without a word, or even a nod, to Gough, or any of his guests. 
A dead silence succeeded. 

" Sharpish weather vor the young wheats," at length observed 
Salter. 

^* Main and sharp !" was the reply of the herbalist; and another 
pause took place. 

'' I ha'n't a' zeed Jacob Wall lately;" was the next observation 
made: it came from the lips of tailor Mudford, but no one 
honoured it with a reply. 

Braintree now began to feel that he was in an unpleasant 
situation ; and guessing on what subject the minds of those about 
him were brooding, he observed, with a sigh, " A bad job this, 
o' mine, neighbours !" 

" Bad, indeed, Braintree!" replied Gough; "but I hope your 
son may get over it!" 

" Hope, did *ee zay, landlord ? why, d'ye think there be any 
vear on't, then ?" 

"Excuse me, friend," observed the supervisor; "I am a 
stranger to you; but, in my opinion, that is, — speaking candidly, 
— I'm sorry to say — ^remember I've no ill-will toward your son — 
nor, imderstand me, do I wish to bear on a bruised reed ; but it's 
folly to buoy a man up with false hopes ; — the case is, if what I've 
heard be true, most decisive against the young man." 

" And what have *ee heard, old gentleman ? — ^what have *ee 
heard, zir?" 

" That, Saul," — said the exciseman, " that, it is — ^needless to 
repeat; — ^but the shoe-marks, — Saul — " 

" Well, and what o' them?" interrupted Braintree; "mightn't 
my zon ha* gone that way avore Govier were killed? or mightn't 
he ha' vound un dead, and come whoam straight, intending to tell 
the news az zoon az he axed I how a' should act?" 

" True, Zaul, true," replied Salter, who had not yet departed; 
" it do zeem ztrange that no vootsteps were voimd in the snow 
'proaching towards the zpot." 

" I can easily account for that, I think," said the supervisory 
with a smile of self-complacency: "the snow — " 



THE BRAIMTRSS8* 75 

^ But hark to this," cried Saul, again intenrupting the old man; 
'^hark to this: — how be we to know, that thej what zaid they 
vound the body wer'n't the criminals, eh?" 

" Lord bless us and zave us, Zaul!" exclaimed the little tailor, 
starting up; << Bless us, Zaul! why, 'twere I, good now, what 
raised the hue and cry. I were coming Trom varmer Butt's, vive 
mile ofi^ where I a' been dree days at work, making a coat; I'd 
a' started avore 'twere day, zo as to get to work about Jack 
Blake's new suit, what he's a going to be married in o' Zinday; — 
and zharp doings it will be to vinish it as 'tis : — zo I took the path 
through the copse, because it zaves a mile, you do know ; and 
anan, my little dog, rin into the hazels and back again in a 
minute, barking as iv he'd a' zeen a ghost I were a bit vright- 
ened, you may judge, vor I'd a' got my zilver watch, and half-a- 
crown, (my dree days' wages,) wi' ten shillings bezides, what the 
varmer had paid me Tor a pig he bought o' me last Zinday vort- 
night, when he comed over to church. Well, and anan, my little 
dog, rin into the copse again, and come back growling worse nor 
avore. Thirdly and lastly, I patted the back o' un, and away he 
rin again, and when he overtook me, — d'ye mind? — ^by the light 'o 
the moon, I zeed there were blood upon the nose o' un! — ^Wi' that, 
I and the dog rin vit to break our necks, 'till we got whoam. Zo 
then I raised the hue and ciy, and Phil's body were vound : — 
but I had no more hand in the death o' un than you, Zaul. I can 
handle a reap-hook, or a needle, wi' one here and there, but I 
never vired a gun off in my life — ^wish I may die if I did !" 

" Well, well, Mudford," said Braintree, advancing toward the 
tailor; " I didn't know 'twere thee; gi'e us thy hand; — ^there — ^we 
be vriends, bean't us ?" 

** I do hope zo, Zaul Braintree," replied the still terrified 
tailor; ** but you shouldn't — " 

<* There, do 'ee hold your tongue and zit down," interrupted 
Saul: " I were wrong; but, — d'ye mind? — Bob be my zon; and if 
coimzel can zave un, he sha'n't lack; vor 111 zeU my zhirt to zee 
un righted." 

Braintree had scarcely reached his seat again, when constable 
Abel, pale, almost breathlesfl^ looking ver^ important, and bearing 
his staff of office in his hand, strode into the kitchen, and imme- 
diately laid hands on Saul. " Braintree, thou'rt my prisoner," 
said he ; ♦* aid and assist, if need be — every body — ^but especially 
you,— earth-stopper, — ^in the King's name." 

12 



76 THE BRAIKTREES. 

Saul was paralysed; he stared vacantly at Abel, and before 
he could recover his self-possession, the dexterous constable had 
handcuffed, and almost completed the task of tying his right wrist 
to the left arm of the earth-stopper. 

" Thy prisoner, Yeabel !" at length uttered Braintree ; " thou 
bee*8t joking, zure ! — Dowl ha' me if I can make out — " 

"You'll make it out well enough by-and-by, Saul," inter- 
rupted Abel, as he pursued his task of knitting the earth-stopper 
fast to Saul; " I ha' been sent for by the 'squire, and I've got his 
warrant. Master Cockle, of The New Inn, churchwarden of the 
present year, ha' been making inquiries; and things ha come oiit, 
Saul, that do look black against thee." 

« What be 'em, Yeabel ?— What be 'em, pr'ythee ?" 

"Why, imprimis" rephed the constable, pompously, "it is 
well known, Ponto never followed anybody but thee — ^nothing 
could make him do so ; and he and Bob never were friends. Suiv 
geon Castle saith, that the shot went horizontally into Phil Govier's 
forehead; and as he was not above five feet six, the gun that 
killed him must have been fired from the shoulder of a man as tall 
as you be : — ^if Bob had done it, seeing that he's shorter than Phil 
were, the shot would ha' gone almost upward; but, no, they 
didn't: — lastly, and most formidably, Saul, as the magistrate 
saith, the marks in the snow were printed there, by shoes made 
right-and-left fashion; and the right-foot shoe being marked o' 
the left-foot side, and the left o' t'other, — it don't seem likely 
they could ha' been worn by the feet they were made for. — So now 
you do know what you've a' got to answer, come along quietly." 

In a few minutes The Chough and Stump kitchen was utterly 
deserted; even Gough himself followed his customers, who, 
without exception, accompanied the constable and his prisoner, 
to Stapleton Hall, the magistrate's residence. After a brief exami- 
nation, Saul was ushered into an apartment, three stories above 
the ground floor, called "The Wainscot-room ;" — which, on account 
of its peculiar situation and construction, although it had once 
been used for better purposes, was then appropriated to the rece}>- 
tion of those who happened to be under the ban of the law, 
previously to their discharge, on finding "good and sufficient main- 
pernors " for their appearance at the ensuing assizes or sessions, 
or their removal to the county gaol, according to the nature of the 
offence. For the honour of the village it is proper to remark, that 
" The Wainscot-room " was but seldom occupied. It was there Saul 



i 



THE BRAINTRBB8. 77 

had, Qiily an hour before, taken leave of Robert, who was now 
far on his road to an accused felon's cell. Braintree had just been 
told by the magistrate that, early on the ensuing morning, he 
must follow his son ; but he suffered a strong rope to be fastened 
round his waist, by a slip-knot, and tied to an iron bar in the 
chimney, not only without murmuring or resisting, but actually 
joking with those who performed the operation. Although Mr. 
Stapleton considered that it was impossible for the prisoner to 
escape from his temporary prison, yet for better security, on 
account of the crime with which Saul was charged, he ordered the 
constable to keep watch, either in, or at the door of the room, 
during the night 

Before the earth-stopper quitted " The Wainscot-room " to go 
on his solitary task, Saul had made him promise to acquaint 
Martin Stapleton, the 'squire's only son, that he, Braintree, ear- 
nestly desired to see the young gentleman, before he went to bed. 
The old man so well performed his promise, and urged Braintree 's 
request to young Stapleton with such warmth, that in less than 
an hour Martin entered the room. • 

^ Abel," said he to the constable, as he came in, ** you may 
go down stairs ; 111 remain with Braintree while you get some- 
thing for supper." 

Abel, " nothing loath," tripped down to the hall, and Martin, 
who was a fine young man, just verging on manhood, walked up, 
with a sorrowful countenance and a heart fiill of grief, toward the 
man, under whose humble roof he had passed some of his happiest 
hours. Martin's mother died in giving him birth, and Saul's wife 
had been his nurse. Although disgraced by 'Squire Stapleton, 
Saul Braintree had ever been a favourite companion of young 
Martin, not only on account of his intimate acquaintance with 
those sports in which Martin delighted, but because Saul had 
always testified a fondness for him from his boyhood upward ; 
and, besides these attractions, the poacher's cottage contained a 
magnet, in the person of his pretty daughter, Peggy, which often 
drew Martin beneath its roof, when his father thought he was 
otherwise occupied. 

" Well, Master Martin," said Saul, as the young 'squire ap- 
proached; "here you be at last! 1 were vool enow to think, I 
shouldn't ha' been here vive minutes avore you'd ha' come, if it 
were only to zay ' How are 'ee, Zaul V — But there, why should 1 
grumble ? Hit a deer in the shoulder, and then put the dogs on 



78 THE BRAINTREE8. 

his scent, and what will the herd do? — Why, vly vrom un, to be 
zure, and no vools, neither; — but come, vine preaching doant 
cure corns : — virst and voremost — will 'ee get me a drop o' brandy, 
Master Martin ? — I be zo low az the grave, az you may guess ; 
get me a thimble-vull, and then well talk a bit" 

** I have brought my shooting-flask, Saul," replied Martin ; 
" there is not much left in it." 

''Ah! this be kind! — ^this be good of 'ee. Master Martin. What, 
you thought how it would be with me ? You knowed me long 
enow, to be zure that I should want summat to cheer me up, 
did 'ee ? Never mind the cork. Master Martin," continued Saul, 
as Martin, with a trembling hand, fruitlessly endeavoured to extract 
the cork; "put it betwixt my teeth, and pull; I'll warrant I do 
hould vast enow ; or knock off the neck o' un against my hand- 
cuffs. What, it bean't your leather vlask, be it ? Odd ! cut im 
open wi' a knife. — I be a choaking for it. Master Martin ; — I be, 
truly." 

By this time, Martin had pulled out part of the cork, and 
thrust the remainder of it through the neck. He handed the flask 
to Saul, who gidped down one half of its contents in a few 
seconds. 

" There is not enough to divide," observed Martin, " you may 
as well finish it" 

" No, thank'ee, Master Martlh," replied Braintree, returning 
the flask ; '' youll want a drop for yourself, presently." 

"I, Saul!" 

" Ay ! you, Martin ! — Look thee, lad, — ^there be times when 
the best ov us would be glad ov it Brandy be a God-send ; but 
we don't use it — ^that is, zuch as I be, doan't — as we should. There 
be times, I tell 'ee, when it be needed." 

" That's true enough," said Martin, endeavouring to force a 
smile ; " I have often been glad of it, after a three hours' tramp 
through the stubble and turnips, on a cold day, under a heavy 
double-barrelled gun, with a belt brimful of shot, and no birds in 
my pocket." 

" That were for thy body, lad ; but thoult want it, anan, for 
thy soul. I be gwain to vright — ^to terrify thee! — ^Thou'st a 
tightish heart, and thou'st need ov it now. Mind me, Martin, I 
bean't romancing. It ha' been smooth roads and no turnpikes 
wi' thee all thy life ; there's a bit o' rough coming, thee doesn't 
dream of." 



THE BRAINTRES8. 70 

<* Good God! Braintree ! your manner alarmi me ! — ^What do 
you mean?" 

" Martin ! — I zuppoze thee thinks, I ought to be obliged to 
thee« Yor coming to me ; — vor bringing a man accused as I bOf 
brandy, — but I bean't If thee hadst not a' come, I'd ha' brought 
thee, tliough a waggon and six horses were pulling thee t'other 
way. There's my hand; I ha' put it to thee through a hole in the 
window at whoam, a'ter thou'st a' wished me good night, and the 
door were vast; — I do put it out to thee now through a velon's 
wristband — wou'st take it?" 

" Excuse me, Braintree I — I would do all I could ; — I have 
even gone beyond the line that a sense of propriety dictates : but 
you must not take such advantage of the familiarity which com- 
menced when I was a child, and has since, through peculiar cir- 
cumstances, continued; — ^you must not, I say, presume upon that, 
to ask me, to shake hands with a man — " 

" Accused ov murder ! that's what thee means, yean't it ? " 
asked Saul ; and his brows were knit, and his lips slightly qui- 
vered, as he spoke. Martin stood silent. 

'' Then I'll tell thee what, lad," pursued Saul, vehemently ; 
** that stomach o' thine shall come down : — 111 make thee !" 

" Braintree," said the young man seriously, but in considerable 
agitation ; '< what do you mean by this? — Are you mad?" 

" Noa, noa; — ^not yet, not yet; — ^but handy to it — Not mad!" 
exclaimed Saul, striking the iron, which boimd his wrists, against 
his head ; '' but don't trouble about I, lad; look to thy own wits, 
young chap." 

" Really, Saul, I cannot put up with a continuance of this : — 
you are not drunk; I know it by your manner. I have never seen 
you thus before. I pity you; and pray to God, that you may 
obtain a deliverance, by the verdict of a jury." 

" I'll never be tried !" exclaimed Saul in a loud whisper. — " I'll 
never be tried ! Zaul Braintree ha'n't kept his wits brooding all 
these years, to be caught like a quail, and ha' his neck twisted! 
No, no ; they ha' brought me to the wrong gaol for that ; it's like 
putting a rat in a fishing-net" 

" I don't think, Saul, there is any probability of your 
escaping," said young Stapleton; "and I advise you not to make 
the attempt" 

" Don't talk to I. — Ha'n't I, when you was a buoy, no bigger 
round than my thigh, — ^ha'n't I heard you read, when you zat 



80 THE BRAINTREB8. 

a-top o' my knee, about the mouse gnawing the lion out o' the 
znare : — ha'n't I ? — Ah ! you do recollect, do 'ee ?" 

" I do, I do, too well, Saul," replied Martin, as a tear trickled 
down his cheek ; '' and I am sorry — I am grieved — ^I feel more 
than you can imagine to see you here. But what has the fable to 
do with you?" 

** Every thing — I shall get out — strength can't do it for me, 
but—" 

" Saul Braintree, I now see what you are driving at," said 
Martin ; ** but do not flatter yourself with so vain a hope. Yon 
are accused of a crime, of which, I hope — ^nay, I think — ^you will 
prove yourself guiltless : but though I am but young, I feel that 
I ought not, dare not, cannot interfere between you and the laws 
of your country. My father — " 

''Now, doan't 'ee preach; doan't 'ee make a zimpleton o' youi^ 
zelf, I tell 'ee: — but, can any body hear us? — ^be the constable 
nigh ?" eagerly inquired Saul, dropping his voice to a low tone. 

"No," said Martin, "you may be sure of that; or I would 
not have remained, thus long, exposed to the madness or insolence 
of your remarks ; — 1 know not which to call it." 

"Why, thou jackanapes!" said Saul, sneeringly, though his 
eye, at the same time, glared with an expression of the utmost 
fbry on young Stapleton; "thou young jackanapes ! dost thee tell 
I about insolence? — Thee shalt down on thy knees for this." 

"Braintree, good night," said Martin, moving toward the 
door : " I did not expect this conduct." 

" What, thee'rt gwain to leave me, then ? Zurely, thee bean't 
in earnest ?" Martin had, by this time, reached the door, and 
was evidently determined on quitting the room. The prisoner, 
perceiving his intention, immediately assumed a tone of suppli- 
cation. " Now, doan't thee go, Master Stapleton," said he ; 
" doan't thee ! — do come back— do hear me, if it be but vor a 
minute. I were wrong, I were, indeed. Doan't thee leave me 
yet — doan't thee — doan'lTthee — doan't thee ! Come back, Master 
Martin ; — on my knees I do but of thee : — do come back — ^for 
Peggy's zake." 

Martin withdrew his hand from the door and returned. " Saul," 
said he, as he approached, " I never felt till now, the truth of 
what you have often told me, namely, — that if I encouraged an 
affection for your daughter, I should rue it, I do now, most 
bitterly. Poor— poor Peggy!" 



THB BRAINT&BBt. 81 

" Ab ! poor girl ! — Come nearer, Master Martin— poor Peggy !" 

" Now, Saul, 111 hear you for one minute only; and thii muft 
—this shall be our last interview — unless — " 

" Vor one minute, didst say V* exclaimed Saul triumphantly, 
as he clutched the wrist of Martin in his powerful grasp ; " thou 
shalt hear me vor an hour ; — ^thou sha' not quit me, till thou and 
I do leave this place, hand-in-hand, together. Ab I thou mayst 
struggle ; but thou knowest the old zaying, 'A Braintree's grip is 
as zafe as a zmith's vice :' — ^if thee wast a horse I'd bold thee.'* 

" Scoundrel ! villain !" exclaimed Martin, endeavouring, with 
ail his might, to release himself; '' let go your hold, or I'll — ** 

" Ah ! do— hit me now, do— now I ha' got the bandcuffi on ; 
any child might gi'e Zaul Braintree a zlap o' the face now. Hit 
me — ^why doan't 'ee, — ^wi' your t'other hand? There's no danger 
o' my drashing 'ee vor't Hit me — doan't 'ee unclench your vist 
— ^here's my bead — ^hit me, Master Martin." 

** For heaven's sake, Saul !" exclaimed young Stapleton, ** if 
you ever esteemed me, let me go ! — ^If you do not, I must alarm 
the house." 

<* Oh ! if you did, Martin !" replied Saul, '< you'd ruin us 
both. I wouldn't have 'ee do so, vor the hope I've a' got of living 
a week over the next zpring assize. If you did larm the bouse, 
Martin, you'd drop from a young 'zquire into a poacher's zon, and 
bang your own vatber to boot." 

" Hang my father !" 

" Ah ! doan't 'ee look round the room that vashion : — ^you be 
zure there be no one listening?" 

"Positive!" 

" Then turn your eyes here, lad : — Meg Braintree was more 
than your nurse. — She's your own mother ! — ^Now I'U let go thy 
wrist; for I've got a grip at thy heart There, thee bee'st vree! 
Why doesn't go ? — I doan't bold thee : go, if thee canst." 

" Saul, you surely are not in your senses !" 

** May be I bean't, for trouble turns a man's brain ; — ^but you 
be, bean't 'ee? You can't ha' vorgot how oflen I ba' pushed Bob 
off my knee to put you upon it Why did I do so ? — 'cause thee 
wert my zon, and he were 'Zquire Ztapleton's. — Haven't I hugged 
thee up to my breast, until thee'st a' squalled wi' the squeeze, 
when nobody was by? — I'd a grudge against the 'zquire; — why, 
Uiee know'st well enough; — zo I made Meg, who nursed 'ee both, 
change buoy for buoy. I thought to ha' made a vine vellow o' 



82 THB BRAINTREES. 

my zon at the 'zquire's expence, little thinking I should ever want 
un to zave my life. I thought, when you was a man, to ha' 
comed up to 'ee and zaid, * 'Zquire, I be your vather, — ^zo and zo 
were the case, — make me comvortable, or I'll be a tell-tale.' That 
were my project; to zay nothing of having a bit of revenge upon 
the 'zquire ! — Lord, Lord ! how I ha' chuckled to myzelf thinking 
on't. Can any man zay I ever used Bob like my own zon? 
Answer me that. D — ^n un ! I always hated im, vor his vather's 
zake : though the lad's a good lad, and, if he were mine, I should 
love im ; — and I do, zometimes, I dunno' why : — ^but I ha' drashed 
un, — and while I were drashing un, I've a'most thought, I were 
drashing the vather o' un. But I ha' done un a good turn when 
he didn't know it. I ha' kissed un when he were asleep, — a'most 
upon the zly, like, even to myzelf. And when he broke his leg, 
I tended upon un, as you do know ; and he s a' loved me zo, ever 
zince, that I ha' scores and scores o' times been zorry for it ; for 
I do hate im because he's the zon of his vather: — but what be the 
matter wi' 'ee? What's amiss? Why d'ye stare and glower zo?" 

" Saul Braintree," said Martin, "whether your words are true 
or not — and what you mention, I have observed — ^you have made 
me the most wretched being on earth; for whatever comes to 
pass, I must stiU suspect — Margaret, my heart tells me, may be 
— Oh! that horrid may, which is worse than certainty — ^may be 
— ^nay, I cannot pronounce it ! Oh ! Saul I if I could but believe 
you — ^if I could but make up my mind, even to the worst, it would 
be a comfort." 

" Martin Braintree, — ^for that be your name," said Saul, 
" didn't I warn 'ee about Peggy? Didn't I — when I saw you were 
getting vond of her — didn't I try to offend 'ee, zo az to keep 'ee 
from coming to our cottage? Didn't I insult 'ee? — but you 
wouldn't take it" 

"You did, Saul, grossly insult me; but my love, — ^perhaps, my 
accursed love, — ^made me overlook it. What a gulph of horror is 
opened before me ! Peggy my sister I and you — ^you my father ! 
< — It cannot — ^it is not so, Saul. Unsay what you have said, and' 
I will save you." 

" I won't unsay it ; it's out now, and I can't help it. If thou 
still doubt'st, Martin, go down and ask my wife — ask Meg; if 
thou still doubt'st, lad, — ^ask thy own heart — ^young as thee bee'st 
— if a vather could let a zon be hung for a crime of which thic 
Eon bean't guilty r* 



THE BRAINTREES. 88 

** And is Robert innocent, then V 

" Ay, lad, as thou art" 

** But you — surely, you — " 

** Take a drop of brandy, and 111 tell thee all, buoy : thae'ri 
my own vlesh and blood, and 111 talk to thee as I would to my 
own heart. Now, do 'ee take the flask ; halve it, and gi'e me the 
rest ; — or take it all, if thee dost veel qualmish. — I be zad enough, 
but don't stint thyself, Martin." 

The youth swallowed a mouthful of the liquor, and returned 
it to Saul, who, after draining the contents, resumed the conversa- 
tion. " Martin," said he, « Robert, poor lad, is az innocent az a 
lamb ; and I know it." ' 

" And wiU you — can you, then, permit him to—" 

" Hold thy tongue, buoy, and let me speak. Rob is innocent, 
but he's James Ztapleton's zon; and if I were to take his head out 
of the halter, and put my own into it, it wouldn't be many miles 
off self-murder. Rob is innocent; for he never harmed a worm, 
except I made un do 't ; and he can go up to his God without a 
blush : — I can't — ^may be, he couldn't, if he came to my years ; 
for there's no one do know what may happen to the best ov us. I 
be zure I little thought, a score of years ago, when I were tip-top 
man here, and had az good a character az any body in the country, 
and there wer'n't a bad wish against mortal in my heart, that I 
should ever be tied up here, where I be, accused of any crime 
whatzoever — ^much less murder : but you zee I be; and there's no 
knowing, as I zaid avore, what any ov us may come to. Bob's 
zure of peace hereafter; and it be well vor un. I'd be hung 
willingly, to-morrow, if I were in the like case; but I bean't. 
Oh ! Martin, my buoy ! I ha' much to answer vor. I be brave, 
people zays, and zo I be ; but there bean't a man within a da3r8' 
ride, zo aveard of death as I be; and 111 tell'ee why: — it's 
because I ha' been zuch a viend — ^zuch a wretch, ov late years.— 
I wouldn't die vor all the world. I do want time vor repentance! 
and I must ha' it at any price! — ^Therefore, Bob must die vor me; 
— and, may be, I does un a good turn ; at least, I do think zo,— • 
by zending un to his grave avore he hath had temptation to h& 
zinful.*' 

" Your doctrine is most atrocious !" exclaimed Martin. •* Oh ! 
why — ^why was I reserved for this ? From what you say, Saul, 
I fear — " 

*' That I killed PhiJ Govier f" 



84 THE BEAIKTRllS. 

" I hope not." 

'' Hoping's no good,: — ^he hit I over the head with the butt-end 
of his gun; — ^zee, here's the mark; — and when I came to myzelf, 
he was gwain to do't again ; zo I ztepped back three paces, lifted 
my piece, and blew out his brains — bang ! — Ay, Martin, it were 
your vather did it; and 'Zquire Ztapleton's zon must zufier vor it. 
I thought I had managed capitally ; but things ha' come out I 
didn't dream of. Iv I be tried, I may be voimd guilty, and that 
won't do. Bob's zure to zufier, poor lad! — But I must not be 
tried." 

^* But how do you make it appear that Robert is guiltless, when 
the proofs are so strong against him ?" 

"Ah! that be my deepness! I hope I zhall be pardoned vor't. 
Ill tell 'ee just how 'twere. Bob were getting to bed, and ho 
knowed I were gwain through the village, up the hill, toward the 
copse t'other zide o' the Nine Acres : — I'd a* promised a brace o' 
pheasants to Long Tom, the mail coachman, the day bevore, — 
he'd got an order vor 'em, — and in the copse I were zure o* viudiiig 
'em, but nowhere else : zo Bob zays to I, * Vather,' zays he, 
' I wish you'd take my t'other pair o' zhoes and leave 'em at Dick 
Blake's, as you do go along, and get he to heel-tap 'em for me.* 
Zo, I zaid I would ; and zure enough, I took 'em ; but Dick were 
a-bed when I come by, and I went on, with the zhoes in my pocket, 
to the copse. When I got there, I looked about, and Ponto, — you 
know Ponto— he'll point up — ay, if 'twere a-top of a elm, as well 
as under his nose in a stubble, — Ponto stood; and just above my 
head, on the lowest branch of a beech, there were perched a cock 
pheasant wi' two hens, — one o' each zide o' im — all dree within 
reach. I hit the cock and one o' the hens down wi' the barrel o' 
my gun, and just as I were pouching 'em, up come the keeper. 
Phil and I, as every one knows, hadn't been good vriends vor 
twenty long years. Zummat occurred betwixt us, and Phil was 
coon on the ground under me. I wasn't as cool as I should be 
over a rasher of bacon — ^you may guess ; but up he got again, and 
laid the butt-end of his piece over my head. I were stunned for 
a second, but when I came to, he'd a' got his gun by the muzzle, 
wi' the butt up over his head, and aiming at me again. If he'd 
a hit me, I shouldn't ha' been talking to you here now ; zo I 
ztepped back, and to zave my own life, did as I told 'ee. When 
I zeed un draw up his legs, and then quiver all over just avore a' 
died, all the blood in my body were turned into cold water. I 



/HE BRAINTREE8. 85 

thought I should ha' shivered to death ; and there I stood, staring 
at Phil, where a' laid, as if I were 'mazed! — Just avore this, it 
begun to znow, and while I were looking at Phil, it thickened zo^ 
that I were a'most zole-deep in it ; zo then I begun to cast about 
how I should act, to zave myzelf vrom zuspicion. While I were 
thinking, the znow stopped vailing; and, thinks I, they'll vind 
out who 'twere by the vootmarks; and if there were no vootmarkf 
to zuspect any one else, they'd guess 'twere I, vor vifly reasons : 
zo I took Bob's zhoes out o' my pocket, put mine in their place, 
squeezed my veet into the lad's zhoes as well as I could, walked 
straight whoam, and went to bed without a zoul hearing me. I 
were wicked enough to put Bob's zhoes close imder his bed avore 
I went to my own ; but I hope even that will be vorgiven me : — 
zo Bob were taken up, and most likely will be voimd guilty, upon 
the evidence o' the zhoes. But vor vear of accidents, Martin, you 
must contrive to let me out; vor I won't be tried, d'ye mind? 
therefore, you must manage zo as I may 'scape, lad; and once 
out, I'U war'nt they doan't catch I again." 

Martin Stapleton stood, with his eyes earnestly fixed on Saul, 
for nearly a minute after the latter had finished his stoiy of the 
death of Philip Grovier ; his faculties were benumbed by what he 
had heard ; and he probably would have remained much longer 
motionless and speechless, had not Saul seized him with both 
hands, and given him two or three violent shakes. ''Come, come," 
said he, " doan't go to sleep like a horse, standing up ! — This 
bean't a time for dozing! — Odd ! if I'd a' got poor Bob here, I 
should ha' been vree half an hour ago. He'd ha' zet vire to the 
house, and come and ha' pulled me out o' the vlames, by this 
time, if he couldn't gi'e me my liberty any other way." 

"And yet, you, Saul," said Martin reproachfully, "you scruple 
not to sacrifice him to save yourself." 

" What be that to thee? — He'd do as I tell 'ee, because I be his 
vather — ^that is, he thinks zo. I ha' done what I did do, because 
he yean't my zon; — ^but thee bee'st, Martin — thee bee'st — and 
thee knows it; — ^thy heart tells thee I ha'n't been lying to thee : — 
thee'rt my zon, — and I do expect that thou'lt do thy duty ; thou 
canst do't, and no harm come to thee. Bob would risk all vor 
me, though I ha'n't been the best o' vathers to im." 

" A^at would you have me do ?" asked Martin, rather petu- 
lantly. " How shall I act ? — What do you wish of me ?" 

" Just to let I get t'other zide o' these walls," replied Saul; 



86 THE BRAINTREES. 

** I doaii't care how; — I leave that to you ; — choose your own way; 
it doan't much matter to I, — doan't 'ee zee? — zo as I gets out. 
Why, you'd a' married Peggy, if zo he as I'd ha' let 'ee — wouldn't 
'ee, now ? — ^in spite ov old Ztapleton, and the whole vlock of your 
ztiff-hacked aunts — ^wouldn't 'ee, now? answer me that" 

" I should — I should : — but mention it no more ; you make 
my blood curdle." 

" Well, then," pursued Saul, heedless of the passionate request 
of Martin; "you zee, I'd no vear ov your seducing the girl; and 
you can't think I should ha' put up a gate against my daughter's 
being a young 'zquire's wife — if that young 'zquire weren't what 
he were." 

" Talk to me no more on this subject : — I will — I do believe 
all you have said; only, I beseech you, don't — don't dwell on 
this," exclaimed Martin, wiping large drops of " the dew of mental 
anguish" from his brow. 

" Well, well, Martin ! cheer up, lad," said Saul, fondling the 
youth ; " cheer up, and I won't ; — ^but, I zay, how shall we act ?" 

♦* Oh ! I know not. — In assisting you to escape I become an 
accessary to Robert's death ; — and if I refuse — " 

"You do hang your vather," interrupted Brain tree; "an 
awkward place vor a body to stand in, Martin; — ^but blood's 
thicker than water; — I be your vather, and he yean't even one o* 
your kin. I won't dreaten 'ee wi' blabbing and telling who you 
be, on my trial." • 

" I care not, Saul, if you did." 

" I know, — I know ; — ^but I doan't dreaten *ee wi't, doan't 'ee 
mind ? — Keep znug, and be a 'zquire." 

" Indeed, I shall not. I will tell the whole story to-morrow ; 
and if I can save poor Robert — " 

" If 't'an't at my expense, do zave un, and I'll thank 'ee ; but 
I think it yean't possible. As to your up and telling old Ztapleton 
who you be, that will be zilly ov 'ee ; — ^but it be your business ; — 
I've put 'ee into a good nest, and if you do throw yourzelf out 
on't, 't'ean't my fault; my intention were good. Howsomever, 
Martin, gi'e me dree hours' law ; and doan't give tongue, and zo 
get a hue and cry a'ter me, avore I can get clear." 

At this moment a loud tapping was heard at the door; Martin 
started, and exclaimed, — " If that should be my father !" 

" Vather, indeed !" said Saul ; " you do vorget yourself; you 
must ha' lost your wits, to be vrighted zo-vashion ; you ha'n't a' 



THE BRAIMTREXS. 87 

fastened the door, have 'ee ? and your vather, aa you do call un, 
would haidly be polite enough to knock. There yean't much 
ceremony used wi' a prisoner. Why doan't 'ee zay, ' come in?' " 

Before Martin could utter the words, the door was opened, and 
a fair, curly-headed youth, who was Martin's immediate attendant 
and frequent companion, peeped in, and said, in a loud whisper, 
— " Master Martin ! the 'squire is inquiring for you : where will 
you please to be? — in the fen, setting night-lines for eels, or up at 
Gorbury, seeing the earths well stopped t The fox-hounds throw 
off at fiudford Copse, to-morrow, you know ; — or shall I say you're 
here, or where ?" 

<* You need not tell any lies about the matter, Sam, thank 
you,'* said Martin; " I shall be in the parlour almost directly." 

" Very well, sir," replied Sam. " I wish you'd been down in 
the hall just now, though. Constable Abel has been making a 
speech about drink being the beginning of every thing bad ; and, 
if he saya true, Abel must be ripe for mischief, for he got three 
parts gone before he had done; and he's coming up stairs with the 
brass top of his long staff downward. — £h! Why, this can't be he, 
surely, coming at this rate ?" 

A series of sounds had struck Sam's ear which resembled those 
of three or four persons running up stairs in a hurry, and then 
galloping along the passage toward the place where he stood. A 
moment had scarcely elapsed, from the time he had done speaking, 
when the door was burst wide open, and Ponto, the prisoner's 
dog, dashed into the room. He had been howling round the 
house for a considerable time ; and probably watched for an 
opportunity of stealing in to join his master. He flew toward 
Saul ; gambolled round him ; leaped up to his face, and exhibited, 
by his looks, his low barks, and his actions, the joy he felt at being 
again in the presence of his master. 

As soon as Sam, by the order of Martin, had retired from the 
door, Saul pointed to the dog, and, without uttering a word, gazed 
reproachfrilly at young Stapleton. 

^* I understand you," said Martin ; "but you don't know what 
I may do yet; therefore, pray, spare me those looks." 

" Wou'It do't, then— wou'lt do't?" eagerly asked Saul: "Ah! 
I knew thee wouldst. Ponto yean't my zon, and yet — ^but, odd J 
there bean't a minute to lose. Abel will be here directly. Ponto, 
my dog, thou'lt zave us a mort o' trouble. Tell 'ee what, Martin, 

>nly cut the rope, and go to bed. Never mind the cuf& ; — cut 



88 TH£ BRAINTREES. 

the rope vor me, and I be zafe :^-out wi' your pocketr-knife,-^ 
make haste," continued Saul, in a hurried tone, as Martin searched 
his pockets with a tremulous hand ; — ** here, lad, let I veel vor 
un — ^here a' is — now cut — cut through : gi'e me dree hours' law, 
as I told 'ee, and then do as you like. — Why, lad! thee'lt be a 
month ; I'd ha' cut down an oak by this time." 

"What have I done?" exclaimed Martin, as he, at length, 
separated the rope. 

" Done! why, done your duty," was Saul's reply; " kneel down 
there, Martin, and take a vather's blessing vor't; — a vather's 
blessing, lad, let un be ever zo bad a man, won't do thee hurt." 
Martin, almost unconsciously, knelt, and the murderer, placing 
his hand on the yoimg man's head, solemnly and most affec- 
tionately blessed him. 

When Abel entered, Martin had nearly reached the door ; he 
pushed the constable aside, and rushed out of the room, in a 
manner that perfectly amazed the old man. '' Well 1" said he, as 
he endeavoured to strut, but in fact, staggered in rather a 
ludicrous manner, toward the prisoner ; — " if that's behaviour to 
a parochial functionary — ^if any jury will say it is — I'll resign my 
staff of office. What do you think, Saul ?" 

" Bad manners, Yeabel; — bad manners, in my mind," replied 
Braintree ; " but he be vexed like ; — ^and I'll tell 'ee why : — I ha* 
been trying to coax un over to help me out o' tiie house." 
" You ha'n't, surely, Saul!" 

" I tell 'ee I have, then — why not ? Wouldn't you ? answer 
me that ! — ^but the young dog revuzed ; zo then I abuzed un, and 
a' left me in a pet. But, I zay, Yeabel, you be drunk, or handy 
to't, bean't 'ee? — ^You shouldn't do that! It's wrong ov 'ee, 
Yeabel : every man, in my / mind, should do his duty ; and you 
bean't doing yours to get voggy wi' stout October, when you've 
a-got a prisoner in hand." 

"None of your sneering, Saul; I am compos and capable," 
said AbeL 

"You bean't, Yeabel! upon my life^ you bean't!" replied 
Saul; "you shouldn't do so— no, truly. Why, now, suppose I 
were to 'scape." 

"Escape!" exclaimed Abel, cocking his hat; "elude my 
vigilance ! — come, that's capital !" 

" Why, you'll vail asleep avore half the night be over." 
" What ! sleep upon my post ! — never, Saul, — ^never." 



THE BUAIITTKBES. 89 

'' YouH prance iip and down there all night, 111 war'nt, then, 
and 20 keep me from getting a bit of rest : — ^you be ayeard to li« 
down, ay, or zit" 

'< I am afraid of nothing and nobody,'' replied Abel, indig- 
nantly ; *' and you know it, neighbour Braintree : but no sneering 
of yours, will tempt me ; I'm up to thee, Saul; so be quiet ;— or 
say your prayers. I'm never so fit to serve my King and country, 
or the parochial authorities, as when my wits are sharpened by an 
extra cup or two." 

"Or dree, I z'pose?" added Saul. — " Poor zoul! thee wants • 
little spirit put into thee." 

" 1 want spirit! when did I lack it?" exclaimed AbeL — "Not 
a man in the parish ever attempts to raise a hand against me." 

"No, truly, Yeabel; 1*11 zay this vor thee, thou'rt such a 
weak, harmless, old body, that a man would as zoon think of 
wopping his grandmother as wopping thee." 

Abel's wrath was now roused, and he began to speechify and 
swagger. Saul said no more, but stretched himself upon the 
mattress which the 'squire had humanely ordered to be placed on 
the floor, within reach of his tether, holding the rope under him, so 
that, without turning him over, it was impossible to discover that 
it had been severed. Just previously to the constable's entrance, 
Ponto, in obedience to the command of Saul, had retreated 
beneath a large oak table, the flap of which altogether concealed 
him from observation; and there lay the well-trained animal, with 
his head resting on his fore-paws, and his eyes fixed on Saul, 
perfectly motionless,, and watching for further commands. 

About an hour after midnight, when all seemed quiet below- 
stairs, Saul turned on his mattress, and beheld Abel still tottering 
to and frt>, like an invalid grenadier upon guard. He waited for 
an opportunity, when the constable's back was toward him, to 
start up, seize Abel by the throat, and lay him flat upon the floor. 
" Yeabel," said he, in a low tone, ** I hope I ha'n't hurt thee 
much. I be zorry to harm thee at all, old buoy ; but needs must. 
I be gwain off, Yeabel; — I doan't mean to put the county to the 
expense o' prosecuting me, — zo I be gwain. — Doan't be aveard, — 
I won't choke thee: — ^there," added he, relaxing his powerful 
gripe ; " 111 let thee breathe ; but if thee speaks — remember, 
Yeabel, — I be a desperate- man, — and I must zilence thee ;— 
one knock o' the head 'ud do't ; zo keep thy peace, and do as I 
tells thee quietly ; — I won't have a word, mind me. Take thio 

Q 



90 THE BRAINTREES. 

thingumbob out o' thy waistcoat pocket, and unvasten these 
bracelets thou'st put about my wrists. Iv thy conscience to 
thy King and country won't let thee do't wi'out being put in 
bodily vear, I'll trouble thee wi' another grip o' the droat But, 
I doant wish any thing o' the zort myzelf, ^unless needs must. — 
Ponto, dog!" 

Ponto started up and was by his master's side in a moment. 

" That infernal dog here too!" ejaculated Abel 

" Ay, zure ! — ^but zilence ! It yean't wize vor I to let thee 
open thy lips : zo go to work like a dummy. Make haste, and 
dost hear, Yeabel? put down the handcuffs quietly. Now doan't 
tempt me to hurt thee, by making a vool o' thyzelf. Be ruled, 
that's a good vellow. I can get off, — doan't 'ee zee ? — spite o' 
the cuffs ; but it wiU be more convenient and agreeable to leave 
'em behind." By this time, Abel had set Braintree's arms com- 
pletely at liberty. 

" Now, Yeabel," continued Saul, still kneeling over the con- 
stable, — " now, old blade, I'll leave thee wi' Ponto ; but doan't 
thee move or call out, if thee values thy old droat. He'll worry 
thee like a wolf 'ud a wether, if thee moves or makes as much 
noise as a mouse : but be quiet — ^be still, and he'll ztand over thee 
and not harm thee vor hours. Thee knowest the dog ; and thee 
know'st me well enough to be zertain I wouldn't leave thee, vit 
to make a 'larm, if I wer'n't zure o' the dog. I doan't want to 
hurt thee, zo I leaves thee wi' un : but, mind — ^he'll hold thy 
droat a little tighter than I did, if thee wags a hair. — Ponto!" 
added Saul, turning to the fine animal, who seemed to be listening 
to what he had said ; " mind un, Ponto ! — Steady, good dog ! — 
Soho! and steady! but mind un!" 

To use a sporting phrase, Ponto immediately "stood;" he 
threw himself into an attitude that even Saul, as he departed, 
pronounced to be beautiful. His eye was keenly fixed upon Abel; 
the roots of his ears were elevate^d and brought forward ; one of 
his fore-legs was held up, and curved so that the claws nearly 
touched his body ; his tail no longer curled, but stood out straight 
on a level with his back ; every muscle in his frame seemed, as it 
were, to be upon the alert; he appeared on the point of making 
a spring forward; but no statue ever stood more motionless on its 
pedestal, than Ponto did over the prostrate and terrified constable. ' 

Braintree lost no time after he left the room which had been 
his temporary prison: he descended cautiously to the ground* 



THE BRAINTREE8. 91 

floor, and yersed as he had been In his boyhood, and for several 
years after time had written man upon his brow, in the topography 
of the old Hall, he easily found an outlet; and escaped without 
creating any alarm 

In a paddock adjoining the pleasure-grounds of the Hall, he 
caught a horse, which had been turned out on account of a sand- 
crack ; twisted a hazel, from the hedge, into a halter and mouth- 
piece ; leaped the fence ; and, in less Uian half an hour, by dint of 
hard galloping across the country, — clearing every thing as though 
he was riding a steeple-chase, — Saul reached his own cottage. 
Meg and her daughter were still up, the wife weeping, and the 
child praying for Saul's safe deliverance. He beat at the door, 
and Meg clasped the girl to her breast and exclaimed, " Oh ! what 
now? — what now? They're surely coming for thee, Peggy^ 
They'U leave me to murder myself — childless !" 

'' Open the door, Meg-^my own Meg!" said Saul, without; 
«* 'tis I, Meg ;— thy poor Zaul." 

Braintree was soon by his own hearth, with his wife and 
daughter weeping and hanging round his neck. 

" Well, and how is it, Saul ?" inquired Meg, as soon as she 
could find utterance. 

" Art discharged, fatbei" ?" said Peggy*. 

''No, child," replied Sam; "I be 'scaped! I shouldn't ha' 
zeen thee, wench, nor thy mother neither, but whoam laid in my 
road. I be zafe yet till day-light, if Ponto's as true as I've a' zeen 
on avore now. But I shouldn't zay (/', vor I be zure ov un." 

In reply to the inquiries of his wife. Said briefly related 
the result of his conversation with Martin, the manner of his 
escape from old Abel, and his intention to fly the country for ever, 
if he could. " Not," added he, " that I think they could bring 
aught whoam to me, upon trial ; though I didn't think zo, when 
I were tied up by a rope to a chimney-bar, in the Hall; but now it 
ztrikes I, there wouldn't be much danger ov my getting acquitted 
— ^and vor why 1 — It's clear the man were killed by one — ^not two. 
Now, if Bob's vound guilty, I must be turned out innocent ; and 
guilty a' will be vound, or else I've blundered blessedly." 

" Heavens above us, Saul ! what d'ye mean ?" cried Meg. 

Braintree now frankly told his wife the circumstances relative 
to Robert's shoes; and concluded, with a forced smile, sighing 
deeply as he spoke, — " And zo, the young un be nicked for no- 
man's-land, wi'out a bit of a doubt; — that be certain, I reckon." 

o2 



92 THE BRAINTREES. 

" Oh ! Saul !" cried Meg, " Saul Braintree, what hast thee 
done ? — ^thou hast murdered thy son !" 

^Murdered my viddlestiek! He's the 'zquire's-^ Jemmy 
Ztapleton's huoy ; — Martin he mine." 

" Martin Stapleton, father !" ahnost shrieked P^gy* 

" Ay, wench ; and he cut the cord yor me, like a Briton." 

''Saul! Saul!" replied Meg, ''doan't thee smile; my poor 
heart be bursting. I never thought I should see this night !" 

^* Woe's me, mother ; I was almost killed wi' trouble befinre, 
and now such news as this !" sobbed Peg^, pressing her hands 
to her eyes. 

" What be the matter, missus? — ^Afl's right ;-^doan't be 
dashed." 

" If thou didst kill Govier, Saul," said Meg, *' thou bee'st a 
vather, vor all that; and I do pity thee: — thou hast laid a trap vcnr 
thy own son. When thou went'st away a sn^ggUng that time, 
just after the 'squire had discharged thee, and when we knowed 
he was looking out for another nurse — " 

" Well, what then?" interrupted Saul. 

" Why, Saul, thou didst tempt me to change the children. I 
promised thee I would: — I tried, and I couldn't! — ^Thee thought'st 
to deceive 'Squire Stapleton, but I deceived thee, Saul. I 
couldn't send away my own boy — ^my virsO-bom — ^my darling. If 
thee wert a mother, thee wouldst vorgive me. Oh ! that I had 
done as thee told me ! Saul, Saul, thee hast murdered thy child ! 
Bob's thy own vlesh and blood, — and Martin Stapleton be no kin 
to thee." 

" Ohf mother!" said Peggy, dropping on her knees; " I Mn 
almost ashamed to say how I Ihank you for those words ; they 
have a'most saved my life; — ^but then, my brother— naay poor, 
poor brother !" 

" Bob my own vlesh and blood !" said Soul, turning pale as a 
dying man while he spoke ; " Bob my zon, a'ter a]l 1 — Tell'ee he 
an't! I won't believe thee :— dost hear?" 

" As I hope to be vorgiven vor all I've done here below, he is;" 
replied his wife. 

" Meg, Meg !" said Saul, dropping on a bench, and throwing 

himself back against the wall; "you ha' turned me zick as a dog." 

Margaret and her daughter now threw themselves about 

Braintree's neck again, and began to weep and wail in the most 

violent and passionate manner: Saul remained moticmkss only for 



TUB BRAIHT&BXS. 08 

a few momeBtB. ^ Gi'e me air," said he^ Buddenly puahing them 
aside and leaping up ; <* I be chokingi I'd gi'e the wcnrld nov, if 
I had it, that instead o' shooting Phil, Phil had zhot 1 1 — ^Deceived I 
bevooled! in thic vashion! — ^Meg, doan't thee bide near me, or I 
shall lay hands on thee presently ; I do know I shall." 

" I don't vear thee, Saul," said Meg ; ** thee never didst lay 
a vinger in wrath on ue yet If thee'rt a' minded to kill me, do't I 
— I wont vly TBom the blow. — My Bobby in gaol, accused of 
murder, and my husband guilty of doing it!" 

^ You lie, you veoli" voci&rated Saul; " 'twere no murder! 
We vought, hand to hand, vor life or yor death, and I got the best 
o'L If I hadn't a' killed he, he'd ha' killed I; zo how can 'ee 
make it murder V* 

^ The lord judge wiU make it out soi, I fear," said Peggy ; 
''won't he, dunk you, mother?" 

<' No doubt on't; and Saul knows it," replied Meg. « Oh! 
Bob^ my child*->my dear^-dear boy I" 

** Good night, Meg!" interrupted SauL " 1 be off; — ^you do 
know I can't abide to hear a woman liowl." 

<< Bat where art gwain, Saul?" 

*^ No matter; — ^thou'lt hear time enough o' me: — ^good night!" 

^ Nay, but what'll thee do ? — Peggy, down on thy knees wi* 
me, gtrly and beg him to tell us, what we be to do! — Oh! 
Saul-^ide a bit; I woan't let thee see a tear — ^look, they be all 
scorched up.-^I won't vex thee, any way, if thou'lt but bide and 
^mfitrt us." 

*' Doan't cling to me zo," said Saul, struggling to rid himself 
of the embraces of his wife and daughter, who climg about his 
knees; — ''it be no use; let go, or 111 hurt 'ee! — ^There now,'* 
continued he, as he freed himself, " once vor all, good night It 
won't do vor I to bide here another minute." 

Braintvee now rushed out of the cottage, leaving his wife and 
daughter on their knees : each af them clasped the other to her 
breast, and listened, without a sob, until the receding footsteps of 
Saul iwere no longer audible. They then attempted alternately to 
solace each other; but the comforter of the moment was so violent 
in her own sorrow as to in^ease that of her whose grief she tried 
to allay; and thus the hours passed on with them till dawn. They 
felt the misery of seeing the sun rise and chase away the morning 
mists as usual; the autumnal song-bird, — the robin, — much loved 
of men, chizzi^iped mennly on their cottage-roof as he did a week 



94 THE BRAINTR£lSSf. 

before, when they were comparatively bappy ; and die leAeek old 
cat, brushed his glossy sides against their garments, as if notldng 
was the matter. There are few persons in existence, whose lot it 
has been to pass a night of such extreme mental agony, as that 
was with Margaret Braintree and her daughter ; and yet, strange 
to say, at six o'clock in the morning, Meg was raking together 
the embers of the turf fire, and piling fresh fiiel on the hearth; — 
the kettle was, soon after, singing merrily abov« the blaze ; and, 
before the church bells had chimed seven, Meg and her pretty 
daughter, miserable as they were, with swoQen eyes and aching 
hearts, sat down to that womanly comfort, — ^a cup,— or as it is 
still called in the west — a dish of tea. 

We must now return to the Hall, which, before day~break, 
became a scene of uproar and alarm. Evety body seemed to be 
in a bustle, but no pursuit was made, or plan of action determined 
on. The 'squire had sent for a neighbouring justice of the peace, 
who was so far stricken in years, that itnvas necessary for one of 
his own men, assisted by Stapleton's messenger, to lift him on 
horse-back, and hold him on the saddle, the whole distance 
between his own house and the Hall. The old man, although of 
a remarkably irritable disposition, was scarcely wide awak^ when 
he arrived. The 'squire, however, without waiting to inquire 
whether or no his auditor was in a proper state to receive hi» 
communications, began to give a minute history of the capture, 
brief imprisonment, and escape of Braintree. He had gone as 
far as Saul's seizing the constable, when old Jnstice Borfield, for 
the first time, interrupted him, by inquiring, with warmth, what 
they all meant by using him as they had done? ''Here have I 
been," added he — "Ay, now, I recollect — ^Yes — the scoundr^s 
broke into my bed-room; — so I suppose, at least j'-nlragged me out 
of bed; and when I awoke, — ^for, odd! sir, and as I'm a gen- 
tleman, all this was hurry-skurry, and passed on like a dream, — 
but when I awoke, I found myself in my best wig, on the back 
of a high-trotting horse; and lo, and behold! I saw — ^for my mis- 
creant of a man had fastened on my spectacles, though, as you 
see, he forgot my left shoe — I saw one of them on each side, 
holding me down to the saddle, by my waistband. . I struggled 
and exclaimed ; but the villains heeded me not I — Now, air, what 
the devil does all this mean ? What am I accused of? I insist 
upon being answered." 

" My dear neighbour, my very worthy firiend Borfield," said 



TES BEA1KTREE8. 95 

Stapleton, " I need your assistance — ^your presence — your advke 
in tbis matter." 

"You're very complimentary, indeed! — What! now you've 
made a blunder, you drag me into your counsels to bear balf the 
blame ! — Neighbour Stapleton, I'm a very ill-used man, and I von't 
put up with it. Talk of the liberty of the subject, and the power of 
a justice of the peace !-~Why, I've been treated like a tetotum I 
At this rate, a magistrate's an old woman ; or worse — ^worse by 
thiaJbandl Brute force beats the King's commission ! I'm dragged 
out of my bed at midnight, by lawless ruffians — ^lifted into a 
saddle, when I haven't set foot in stirrup these twenty years — 
and brought here, on the back of a roxigh-trotting galloway, close 
pdaoner, to sign some documents, I suppose, which wouldn't be 
legal without the formality of a second magistrate's name. Ill tell 
you what,. James Stapleton, I don't like it — If I'm an old man, 
I'm not a machine. Your satellites have brought the horse to the 
brooky but you can't make him drink. I'll sign nothing; I'll die 
first : — for I'm hurt and insulted." 

The old man now grew exhausted, and Stapleton once more 
attempted to pacify him. By dint of excuses, and a few flattering 
compliments on the freshness and vigour of his intellectual powers, 
and the value of the advice of a man who had so much experience, 
Stapleton^ at length, prevailed upon him to hear the end of his 
statement^ relative to Saul's escape. 

'' Well^ welli then order coffee and dry toast," said Borfield ; 
** Sot if you need advice^ I lack refreshment Order coffee, and 
let the toast he cut thin, and baked by a steady hand — by-the-by, 
let my owb< miscreant do it^ — and then we'll see what can be 
done." 

It a]^eared that Braintree's escape had been discovered sooner 
than he expected. The old earth-stopper, on his return from 
Gorbury, where he had be^i following Yds vocation, saw.somebody 
cross a field, at friU speed, on a horse which he well knew to 
be Martin Stapleton's pie-bald hunter. He fancied, too, that the 
rider bore some resemblance to Braintree. But whether the man 
were Braintree or another, it was clear that all was not right The 
earth-stopper, therefore, thought proper to put spurs to his poney, 
and, instead of turning down the next lane toward his own cottage, 
to push for the main road, and trot up to Stapleton Hall. 'As he 
passed the paddock he looked round it ; but saw no horse. When 
lie reaphed the gate^way leading to the housci he raised such a 



96 ZHX BEMMTRXBt. 

clai;ter, by rioging the boU and beating agahut the door, iiiai 
several of the servants^ and Stapleton himself were aoon roused 
£roin their beda. Before the earth-rti^pper waa admitted, Stapletoa 
inquired irom the window, what had occuned. ** I beg- your 
honour's pardon," relied the old man ; " I redion I ha' zeed 
Zaulfiraintree, — or iv 'tean't he, 'tis a man like un,— *^riding athirt 
tailor Mttdford's 'tatee-patch, in Misletoe-lane, zaving your 
worship's presence, upon a zpringy zwitch-tailed pie-bald, a blood* 
like weed ov a thing, zo var as I could zee; but I'll zwear he were 
a zwitch-tailed pie-bald; and the young 'zquire's yean't in the 
paddock." 

Stapletcm ^ew on his dressing-coat, and hurried up stairs to 
the room where Saul had been confined. The lamp was still 
burning ; and, by its light, he discovered, at a glanee, that ih» 
prisoner had effected his escape. Abel's staff lay upon the mattress, 
and, at a little distance firom it, Stapleton beheld the constable on 
the floor, apparently lifeless. " The villain has murdered him ! ** 
thought he ; but his fears were instantly dispelled, and his indig* 
nation roused, by a sonorous snore, which evidently proceeded 
from the nostrils of AbeL v 

Stapleton took up the staff* of office, and turned the eonstaUo 
over with it two or three times, before he could wake him. In 
reply to the questions put to him by the 'squire, Abel gavo a 
tolerably clear account of what had taken place : the last thing he 
recollected was seeing the eyes of Ponto glaring at him, as he lay 
on the floor. Search was immediately made for the dog, but 
without success : he had either efieotually concealed himself in 
some part of the house, or made his escape. Abel begged for a 
warrant from his worship to apprehend and hang the animal, 
''He aided and abetted the prisoner," said he, ''in getting hia 
liberty; and I am ready to swear, and what is more, with your 
worship's leave, I do insist upon swearing, that I lay in bodily 
fear o' the beast But Ponto," continued he, " was not the sole 
and only one that lent the delinquent a helping hand ; he hath a 
friend in court: the rope was cut £<x him, that's dear; for he 
never could have done it himself. Your worship, this looks 
awkward against somebody." 

The morning dawned through the eastern window of the library, 
as Stapleton finished his statement, and old Borfield his second 
cup of cofiee. The latter now suggested that all the persons in 
the house should be rigidly examined, and the depositions of Abel 



.nX BRAIIITRXlt. 07 

smd the earthnrtopper formally prepared. The whole of the henise* 
hold, as wdl as the two la8t>-iaeiitioned wortUet, were then called 
k; and after a few questkm had been put to the domestics in 4 
body, it came out» that somebody had heard Sam say, before he 
went to bed, that the poacher's dog had burst into the Wainsoot* 
room whtD he (Sam) went up to caU the young 'squire down to 
supper. Sam, upon being questioned, prevaricated and became 
eeoAised. PereeiTing this, Stapleton inquired far Martin. " He 
hadn't left his room yet, sir," said Sam ; *' I'll step and call him." 

"No, no!" ewniaimed Borfield; "by no means: stay yoa 
there, and let the constable go for him." 

" I forgot to say," said Abel, " that Master Martin did cer- 
tainly condescend to be beadle over the prisoner while I took 
nee^M refreahment." 

** Tkten you ought to be whipped for suffering him to do so^" 
quoth Borfield. " Mr. Stapleton, this begins to be serious," con- 
tinued he ;•— Stiq»leton turned pale as he proceeded, and now wished 
he had not sent for his brother magistrate ;-~" the youth's your 
•on ; but it k our duty, in such an investigation as this, to pay 
no respect to persons. — And so, when you returned," he added^ 
turning to the constable again, '* the bird was flown, was he ?" 

" I will be judged by any man here, if I said so!" replied 
AbeL " Saul and I had some chat after my return ; he was there, 
and, seemingly, salbsenough; but the cord must have been cut by 
somebody whfle I was away." 

" And who did you find in the rocnn besides Saul ?" was the 
next question put by old Borfield. 

" Sam ran against me, as I went up over the stairs, and the 
young 'squire did the like, more disagreeably, just after I had 
crossed the threshold." 

Boifleld shook his head, and said to Sam, — ^ Young man, 
consider yourself in custody ; and, constable, fetch down Mast^ 
Martin Stapleton ; — 'it is strange, amidst all this uproar, he has 
net made his appearance !" 

"Has no one seen him?" inquired Stapleton, in a tone of 
unusual solemnity : he looked anxiously round the circle, but no 
reply was made. " Open that window," continued he, pointing 
to one near him, in the recess of which stood the earthnstopper^ 
who obeyed him, as fast as his stiff jcnnts would permit. A perfect 
silence reigned through the room for nearly a minute, after Abel 
had quitt^ it, in obedience to Borfield's commands, when the 



98 THl BBAINTBJEXS* 



old eardMtopjMr .Mid that he hesrd a tired hone gallc^ing up 
the high-road, ahout a mile distant^ and he thought it was the 
young 'squire'f pie-hald. Upon being aiked what induced him to 
think 80, he replied, ** Why, your honour, Maiter Martin's hoErse 
were lame YTom a zand-crack in the near yore-yoot, and the horse 
I do hear, don't ztrike the ground eyen ; I be zure he's lame ;--— 
and az I do think-^" 

The earth-4t(^per would haye jHroceeded, but Abel and Martin 
now entered the room. The young man's dress was in disorder ; 
his hair was autted; his eyes were swollen; and his whole appear- 
ance indicated that he had not passed the night asleep in his bed. 
'< I understand," said he, addressing himself to Stapleton and 
Boi£eld,-<-<< I understand ihatr--" 

** You hatye but one question to answer, Martin," interrupted 
Stapleton. 

''And answer it or not as you think fit," said Borfidd; ''re- 
collect^ young gentleman, that you are not compelled to Implicate 
yourself: — ^be caieftil !" 

" The caution, sir," said Stapleton, " is kind and weUnneanty 
bu^ I am sure, needless. Martin«-did you, or did you not^ aid 
Saul Braintree in his escape?" 

Martin was silent. 

" Don't press bim," said Borfield, forgetting to whom he was 
speaking ; " we haye quite sufficient, without his own acknow- 
ledgment, to warrant us in concluding that he did. — ^The constable's 
evidence — " 

"Borfield! Borfield!" cried Stapleton, casting on the <dd 
man a look of reproach that silenced him ; " let him answer for 
himself. What say you, Mardn ? Acquit yourself, I insist-— I 
entreat!^— Did you cut the rope for Braintree?" 

" All that I have to say, sir," replied Martin, firmly, — ^but his 
voice faltered, and he burst into tears, and hid his face in his 
hands as he concluded, — " All that I have to say, sir, is, that the 
man proved to me he was my own fiither !" 

"Martin, you're mad!" exclaimed Stapleton, starting firom 
his seat. 

"Braintree your father!" said Borfield, removing his spectacles, 
but speaking in a calm and unconcerned tone ; " How's this ? — 
Then where's Mr. Stapleton's son ?" 

"In the county gaol, abiding his trial for murder!" replied 
the young man. 



THE B&AXNTBSB8. 99 

'^Martiii, your wits are wandering I" aimoal ahriektd old 
Stapleton ; ** What do you mean f* 

^< It 18 but too true, air, I fear.-^Meg Bramtree changed ua 
when children at her breaat." 

'' No, zhe didn't, Master Martin," said lome one at the lower 
end of the room ; << No, zhe didn't; worae luck ! 

To the amazement of all present, Saul Braintree, who had 
just entered, now walked up toward the justices, and stood within 
three paces of l^e taUe^ bdiind which their chairs were ]daced. 
Old Stapleton was still on his legs; and, with a yacaat and dmoet 
idiotio stare, turned from Martin, on whom he had been gazing, 
to tihe weather-beaten face of SauL 

'' lis you ha' done all this mischief 'zquire," pursued Brain- 
tx» ; ^ Oh ! you used I — but, it doan't matter — Meg, too, to 
play zuch a trick, and not tell me o't! — Master Martin, zhe didn't 
do as I tould her ; but nerer, avore this night, did I know I'd 
been made zuch a vool or ! — ^Your home railed lame as a cat wi' 
me, coming back ; but you'll vorgi'e me, I do know, vor bringing 
'ee znch news. I bean't your vather; — there — ^there, it do zeem, 
he stands: 'zquire, this be, truly, your zon ; mine be in irons ; but 
I'll vree un ! Ill vree im !" repeated he, raising his yoice sud- 
denly to a high pitch; <'he sha'n't bide there long! I be bad 
enough, yor zure and zartin ; but I can't let un die yor I ! — ^Oh ! 
I be beat out and out ! — ^Tell'ee I can't ztand it; zo, justice, take 
my coQyesftion." 

Borfield touched the elbow of Stapleton, who was now totally 
mattentiye to the scene before him, and affectionately embracing 
Martin. ''Take the pen, sir," said Borfield; "and, prisoner, 
lefiect a moment on what you are about to do : you are in a state 
of great excitation; we are willing to hear you; but, I repeat,— 
be cautious !" 

'' Cautious !-~H»utious, d'ye zay? — No, I won't! Caution's 
been the ruin o' me» Caution doan't zeem to I to be any use in 
theze parts. I ha' zeed men wi' no more forecast than chilyer 
hogs, do well «U their lires, and keep out o' harm's way, ylourish- 
ing like trees : — now I ha' been as cautious as a cat, and you do 
zee what I be come to." 

''I cannot write, indeed, Mr. Borfield; — I cannot write a 
word: — ^you must excuse me," said Stapleton, throwing down 
&e pen. 

''Well, well, then, as we 'ye no clerk, and I haye written 



too THl BEAIVY&BES. 

. nothing but my name ihete leTen yean," toid Boffield, oiering 
the pen to young Stapleton, *' mippoaey Master Martin, you take 
down the priaoner't confeadon." 

^* Pardon me^ air," aaid Martin; **that I never will do." 

" Then we muat adjourn the examination for an hour/' aaid 
Borfield ; " let the prisoner be searched, and conveyed to a place 
of security. I will specially swear in the eardi-atopper and my 
man to assist you, Abel ; my man shall remain in the room with 
you, and the earth-stopper may watoh outside the door: be 
attentive^ earthnitopper." 

** And above all things," added Abel, ''take care ihat his dog 
don't get in." 

<<DoanVee be aveard o' he, Yeabel," aaid Saul, «I ha' 
killed un, poor blade ! — It were the last zhot I shall zkooL He 
ha' done much mischief vor I, poor dumb beasl^ and he might ha' 
done more vor a woner man; — ycht I redion I bean't to bad as 
some be, and that's a comvort— I knocked up varmer Zalter, and 
borrowed his double-barrelled gun, to gi'e the dog his dose. Ponto 
knowed what a gun were, well enough { but he zeemed to vancy 
I were in vun like, when I pointed the muzzle o't to un ; vor a' 
wagged his tail and looked as pleasant up in my vace, that be 
dashed iv I weren't vorced to zhut my eyes avore I could puU the 
trigger. But, oh ! Master Martin, iv you had but heard his one 
zhort deep howl, you'd ha' gone 'mazed — ^that is«-iv you were I. 
Truly, I do think, I zhould ha' zhot myzelf iv 'tweren't vor two 
things: — ^Virst, I couldn't ha' vreed poor dear Bob, bless un! iv I 
had; and next, I'd a' given my word and hand to varmer Zaher, 
J wouldn't harm myzelf avore he'd lend me his gun." 

Martin now asked his father's permission to offer Saul a little 
refreshment ; the 'squire immediately acceded to his request, and 
the kind-hearted young gentleman whispered Sam, in Saul's 
hearing, to get a little brandy from the housekedper. Braintree, 
however, much to Martin's surprise, requested that no liquor 
might he brought for his use. <' Master Martin," said he, '' it 
yean't wi' me, as 'twere last night I be past the help o' brandy, 
now : — I be done vor. Ponto's gone, and I zhall zoon voUow 
un ; he did'nt deserve it, — nor I neither, may be ;'^but I shall 
ba't though, vor all that But Bob zhall be vreed — no offence^ 
justices; but, d'ye hear? — Bob zhall be vree ! My buoy shan't 
never zufier vor I. No, no, that wouldn't be like Zaul BraintPee; 
i^^hl Master Martin?— would it, neighboun? — ^My wife shan't 



THK BKAIVTR2BI. 101 

say to I ngaan, as zhe did, poor aoul, hit nigH ^Zaol, tbee bail 
murdered my xon:' — 'tean't pleasant*— Your sarvanty Justice 
Borfield : you ha' been my ruin, 'zquive Ztajdeton ; but I doan'i 
bear maliee ; I do TorgiTe 'ee wi' all my hearts-— Will'ee be 20 
good as to make Txiends, zir, and think o' Meg, if aught zhould 
happ^i to me ?-— will'ee, mv — ^will'ee— wiU'ee f" 

Saul stretched forth his hand aeroes the table, and Stapletoo, 
apparently without knowing what he did, or, possibly, actuated 
hf a return of those kind feelings which he had entertained for 
Saul, twenty years before, so far forgot his own character and 
situation and those of the prisoner, that he put forth his hand 
towards that of Braintree; a short but hearty mutual squeeze 
ensued, and Braintree immediately left the room, dosely followed 
by Abel Harris, the earth-«t(^per, and Justice Borfield's man. 
He had scaicely proceeded a dozen steps fhnn the door, when, as 
if something of importance had suddenly occurred to him, he 
turned about, and earnestly inquired for the young 'squire. Martin 
was soon by his side. '' Master Martin," said Saul, " tiiere be 
one thing IVe a' got to zay to 'ee — ** 

'' Your wife, I siqipose, Braintree**-" 

** No, no^ not zhe ; I zpoke to 'zquire about zhe : — ^besides, 
Bob will be vree, and won't zee poor Meg lack;— ^pine zhe will- 
but he can't help that" 

^ Can I do any tiling for you Y* inquired Martin. 

" Not vor I — ^not vor I," replied SaoL * I ha' got but a rew 
words to zay to tiiee, Isd, and I'll zpeak 'em yreely. Peggy 
yeon't your zister, now : — ^when I be gone, ir you oan't do her no 
good, doant do her no h«?m, vor my zake, lad ; doan't, pr'ythee 
now!" 

" I never will, you may depend, Sa^." 

*' Then God bless thee, and good bye I — Now, Yeabel !" 

Saul now followed Abel into the Wainscot-room again, and 
resumed his handcufik Old Borfield, who had been roused to 
unusual energy, and even displayed a portion of that acuteness, 
for which he had been famed in the county twenty or thirty 
years before, sank into a doze. Long before he opened his eyes 
again, Stapleton had received Saul Braintree's confession; which, 
coupled with other circmnstances, while it convicted Saul, clearly 
exculpated his son from any participation in the offence. The 
father and son were tried together ; the former was found guilty, 
and the latter acquitted. Saul, however, evaded the execution of 



102 T 

the law: a Btrong fear of death came over him, aAer his con- 
viction ; he made a bold attempt to escape, the particulara of which 
it would be needleas to enumerate ; suffice it to say, that be was 
not only uumccenful, but perishad in a toost resolute struggle 
with some of the gaoler's attendants, who intercepted his 
progress. Another paragraph will finish our tale- 
Old Stapleton, who had long been in a declining state, died 
within a few days after Martin came of age : the young 'squire 
shortly aAer sold off his estates, and, as it was confidently tsdd 
by gome, but disbeliered by others, dwelt happy and contented, 
B« it fans to the lot of most men to be, in a distant part of 
England, wilb his old nurse under his roof; Robert Brdnttee, the 
tenant of a capital form, within a morning's ride o: 
and pret^ ^'SS! ''" ^"^^ 



THE SHAM FIGHT. 

" Well, Jones, — who's gone ? — any body ?" This was the first 
question which the excellent hostess of The New Passage Inn put 
to the waiter, as she descended one morning, rather later than 
usual, to her breakfast Jones replied, "Every body's gone, 
ma'am: two parties, and one single gentleman, went across in 
the boat, without breakfasting — " 

** Without breakfasting, Jones ! I hope they've taken no 
offence." 

"Oh! no! I'm pretty sure of that, ma'am: — they went 
away very comfortable, on rum and milk." 

"Rum and milk!" 

" Yes, ma'am ; glasses round, with biscuits." 

" Oh ! well ! come ! — ^And how did the ladies in number 
nine go ?" 

" In the yellow chaise ; and the people in th« back drawing- 
room, went with Tom Davis, in the green coach ; and what with 
one and another, there isn't a turn-boy but Sam, in Uie yard : — 
he's got no chaise, you know, ma'am ; and his hand-horse won't 
be fit to work, the blacksmith says, till Tuesday." 

"Oh! well! come!" replied the hostess. "Then we've no 
company left," 

" Oh ! yes," said Jones; "one gentleman came over in the 
boat, this morning, too late for a chaise ; and there's a traveller 
got down from Bristol, on horseback, too late for the boat" 

" And where have you put them, Jones ?" 

" They haven't come in-doors yet, ma'am." 

" What are they doing then, Jones ?" 

" One of them is throwing stones into the water, and the other 
is looking at him, seemingly, ma'am." 

" Pretty amusement!" said the landlady, shaking her head as 
she peeped through the baivwindow, and saw the two gentlemen, 
at a little distance from the house, amusing themselves as Jones 
had stated. The active party was a man advanced in years, stoUt 
and squat in person, wearing a profusion of powder, and having 
the appearance of a respectable tradesman. He did not seem to 



104 THE SHAM FIGHT. 

be aware that he was observed, and continued to exert himself 
very strenuously in throwing pebbles into the water ; until the 
other traveller, who stood within thirty paces of him, hunt out 
into a shout of laughter, which the tradesman no sooner heard, 
than he, naturally enough, turned about to see from whose lungi 
it issued, feeling by no means gratified at being made acquainted, 
in such a manner, with the proximity of a stranger. He slyly 
dropped two or three pebbles which he had in his hand; hummed 
the chorus of a song, very much out of tune ; and assumed a 
pompous and important stride, which rendered him exceedin^y 
ridiculous in the eyes of the stranger, who in vain attempted to 
control himself and laughed louder than before. The tradesman 
now resolutely tucked up his sleeves and resumed his exercise. He 
had thrown two or three dozen pebbles among the little waves, 
when the stranger, to his surprise, approached, and, in a very 
handsome manner, begged pardon for the circumstance which 
had peremptorily obliged him to intrude with an apology. The 
elderly man protested that he did not understand the gentleman 
who ^us addressed him : — ^' Sir," said he, ** I know not why you 
should apologize, for you have given me no offence. I do not 
remember to have heard or seen any thing on your part, at which 
I could possibly take umbrage. However, if my hand were not 
dirty, I should be happy to offer it you, as I would to any 
military man in the kingdom : though you seem to have but lately 
reached the years of manhood, your weather-beaten face convinces 
me, sir, that you have seen service. If there's no objection on 
your part, I should be happy to join you at the breakfast-table. 
I've smelt powder myself; but I'll warrant, now, you would 
hardly have been keen enough to detect any symptoms of the 
soldier about me, if I hadn't let the cat out of the bag." 

" Indeed I should not, sir, I must confess," replied the young 
officer. 

" But," continued the other, ** allowances ought to be made; 
dress is every thing, as our lieutenant-colonel used to say. Now, 
if it were not for that stripe on your trousers, your military cloak, 
and foraging cap — " 

" It's very likely you would not have guessed I was in the 
service," said the officer. 

" Exactly so," replied his companion. '' But what say you, 
sir ? — shall we breakfast together ? — I'm a respectable man, and 
well known in most towns in the West of England. I travel in 



THX SRAM FIOHT. 105 

my own line, and do Iwuinew exteBnrely on eornmisrion, in old 
or damaged h/Cfps, 6q>eciaUy in Wdea, where I'm going the next 
trip the paasage-boat makea." 

^ I can hanre no doubt of your reflpectability, §ir" taid the 
officer; *^ and accept your invitation yery cheerililly." 

^ Well, come alo^ then, my boy !" exclaimed the trareller, 
descending, for a moment, from his dignity of deportment; ''and 
veil lia^e a dish of chat Have you been abroad ?" 

** Yea, air," replied the young officer ; ** I had the honour of 
serving, wiA my regiment, at Waterioo." 

''Bless my soul! I'm very glad, sir — ^very glad, indeed: — ^there 
aie two or three points, about which I have long wished to have 
my mind settled, relative to that business; — ^but I never yet had 
the luck of meeting with an eye-witness of the battle. Why, sir, 
—it's the oddest thing in the world, youll say; — ^but at the 
moment you addressed me, I was thinking of Hougoumont, and 
the other i^aces whose names you recollect, no doubt, better than 
I do. — And what do you think put it into my head? Why, TH 
tell you : — as I was walking along, the waves, with their bold flow, 
surmounted by spmy, with the sunbeams dancing about them, 
remraded me of a regiment of cuirassiers advancing to the attack : 
so, to get a better appetite, in the enthusiasm of the moment I 
metameiphosed mywlf into a battery, and began pkying away 
upon them with pebbles. — Child's work, youll say, and derogatory 
to the character of a man of dignity." 

" I do not exactly agree with you, sir," said the officer; "great 
men have c^ten indulged in the most childish amusements; we 
are told of one who caught flies, another who made himself a 
bobby-hone for his little family, and a third who enjoyed the 
frolics of a kitten : — on the authority of these, and many similar 
precedents which I recollect, there seems to be no good reason 
why a gentleman, who travels in South Wales, on commission in 
the damaged hop line, should not, in a moment of relaxation, 
Dcm-Quixotise on the basks of the Severn, by turning the waves 
of ite rising tide into French cuirassiers, and pelting them with 
pebbles." 

" Sir, I like your manner amazingly!" exclaimed the traveller; 
" and if you will take any little extra, such as a pork chop or so, 
with your chocolate-—" 

The officer interrupted his companion, by stating that he never 
Uxk. pork chops with choc(date ; and immediately began talking 



106 T9E SHAM riOHT, 

about the battle of Waterloo, of whichi during the valk to the 
inn, and while breakfast was preparing and demolishing, he giwe 
the traveller a very animated and interesting description. 

His companion, in return, ycdunteered a narrative of the most 
important military event he had ever borne a share in. ''I 
allude," said he, ''to the great sham fight, that took place eleven 
years ago, near a certain ancient and refl|>ectable borough, in a 
neighbouring county, at which I had the honour of being present, 
with a corps you have, probably, heard of, rather by the honourable 
and appropriate nick-name of 'The Borough Buffs,' than by the 
one which appeared on its buttons and orderly4>ooks. There was 
not, perhaps, a more loyal association in the kingdom : we had 
not a single French firog on our uniform ; which, although I say 
it, was one of the most elegant specimens of regimentals that has 
yet been produced. Our iieutenantp<;olonel was as brave and 
talented a volunteer-officer as ever wore a sword ; and so much 
satisfaction did he give to his fellow^townsmen, or feUowHsoldiers, 
— it matters not which, for they were both, — that a gold cup was 
presented to him at a public dinner, the very day before the sham 
£ght took place, in testimony of the gratitude felt by the whole 
corps to their worthy and respected lieutentint-coIonel,-*--whose 
name was Nickelcockle. The party consisted of all our own 
officers, and six or eight guests, who were attached to a division 
of a marching regiment, with blue facings, that happened to be 
quartered in the borough. Perhaps you never sat down to a more 
elegant dinner : — eatables excellent,— every thing that was expenaive 
and out of season ; wine of the first price ; and the speeches any 
thing you please but parliamentary. That of our major, Alder- 
man Arkfoot, when he presented the cup, was one of the neatest 
things I had then heard : but it was rather eclipsed by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Nickelcockle's reply ; who, to his other gifts, added that 
of eloquence, in an extraordinary degree. — He was, indeed, an 
eminent man: ambitious, dai'ing, and talented, — ^he had, as he 
frequently boasted, risen from the shop-board to be one of the 
gpreatest army-clothiers in the kingdom; and retired, in the prime 
of life, with a splendid fortune, and one daughter. Miss Arabella 
Nickelcockle, who is now the wife of a baronet. — But to return to 
his speech : — ' Gentlemen, and brother officers of The Borough 
Buff Yohmteers,' said he, ' this is the proudest moment I ever 
experienced since I have been a soldier.' At this early period of 
our lieutenant-colonel's speech, several of the officers belonging to 



THE 8KAK 7I0HT. 107 

like marebing regiment, testified their approbation by crying^ 
* Hear ! hear ! bravo ! hear !' — < Gentlemen, and brother officers/ 
continued the lieutenant-colonel, ' my gratitude is immeasurable, 
and therefore, inexpressible.' — * Cut the shop, colonel !' whispered 
the adjutant, who sat on his right hand, and who, it must be 
confessed, too often prompted the lieutenant-colonel, both at our 
canviTial meetings and on parade, to be quite agreeable : indeed, 
the tact was fiequ^itly noticed by the corps, and whenever the 
drcnmstance was broached, the parties who mentioned it, inva- 
riably sneered; which clearly shewed their opinion of the matter. 
The lieutenant-colonel was too good-natured by half, and took 
the intrusive hints of the adjutant much too easily; at least, in my 
opinion. — 'Gentlemen, and brother officers of The Borough Buffs,' 
resumed the lieutenant-colonel ; ' anxious as I am, at all times, to 
avail myself of the advice of our worthy and experienced adjutant, 
I cannot make it fit my own feelings to do so at present: he 
says, * Cut ihe shop, colonel !' — ^Now, although I have retired, I 
cann<»t forget that I owe my present situation to trade and com- 
merce. I rose, by my own merit, to the highest civil posts in the 
borough ; and, brotlier officers, I also did ditto from the ranks of 
tins corps to be its lieutenant-colonel !' Here the shouts of appro- 
bation were neariy deafening: the regular officers at the lower 
end, seemed, by their 'bravosl' to pay a compliment to the gentle- 
men-tradesmen, who were about them ; and, no doubt, enjoyed 
the vexation of the crest-fallen adjutant, if one might judge by 
their laughter. Several glasses were broken ; and one of the 
corporation took off his wig, and flourished it so enthusiastically 
round his head, that a shower of powder descended on the persons 
who sat on each side of him, as well as those immediately opposite. 
As soon as order could be restored, the lieutenant-colonel pro- 
ceeded with his speech. 'Gentlemen,' said he, 'without any 
disrespect to our guests, I beg to say, that an armed citizen is the 
best of soldiers. And why ? — Because he has his shop, his goods, 
his book-debts, et cetera, as well as his King and country to fight 
for.'— 'Bravo I' and 'hear him!' — ' I know that some of the wits, as 
they call themselves, — the opposition party of the borough, — and 
those who are out of place, I have always remarked, shew their 
wit much oftener than those who are in; — ^I say, gentlemen, that 
some of the ouis have been sneering at the cup and its trimmings : 
they say that the handle of it looks more like a goose than a 
swan; which is, doubtless, a hit at my profession: — ^but to the 

b2 



108 THE SHAM VIOHT. 

utter confusion of the discontented wise-acres, for once in their 
lives they are right ! I confess, much to the credit of the artificer, 
that it does look more like a goose than a swan. And why! 
Because, gentlemen — ^because it was intended for a goose! — It is^ 
to my knowledge, cut out from an old Roman pattern, which, I 
presume, was originally made about the time when the bird I 
mentioned came into notice among the first circles, for having 
saved Rome, as you all have read in ancient history or elsewhere.' 
Major Arkfoot, who had manifested considerable, — and, if I may 
say so, — ^very unbecoming impatience, during the latter sentence 
or two, here interrupted the lieutenant-colonel, in a most un- 
ofiicer-like manner, and flatly stated that he was labouring under 
a mistake : — ^he. Major Arkfoot, had been honoured with the orders 
of the committee, to make the cup, and he offered to pawn his 
entire credit, that the figure was intended for a swan ; although, 
he confessed, there was a slight deficiency in the resemblance : 
' but that,' said he, * with the greatest respect I say it, lies at 
the committee's door : they spoiled the ship for a ha'porth of tar; 
if they had^ only given me the other five guineas, which I 
demanded, the bird's neck would have been at least an inch and 
a half longer, and so made all the difierence.' ' Well, gentlemen, 
goose or swan,' — ^pursued the lieutenant-colonel ; but before he 
could utter another word, several members of the committee rose 
at once, to address the major, who vowed that though its neck 
was rather abbreviated, it certainly was, to all intents and pur- 
poses, a swan ; the ofiicers of the marching regiment, at the lower 
end of the table, vociferated, 'A goose ! a goose!' and Alderman 
Major Arkfoot, finding he had the worst of it, rose again, and 
roared loud enough to be heard, ' Well, gentlemen, as my dis- 
sentient voice does not seem to yield infinite delight to the 
company, without ofience to the lieutenant-colonel, a goose let it 
be dubbed !' And it was so most unanimously. While the lieu- 
tenant-colonel endeavoured, as he said, to pick up the thread of 
his discourse, which had been interrupted in the manner I have 
mentioned, I cast my eyes toward the lower end of the table, and, 
truly, I never remember to have seen any gentlemen more cheerM 
at table, than the officers with the blue trimmings. The lieutenant- 
colonel next touched upon the important subject of the great 
sham fight, on the ensuing day. After describing the general 
appearance, the advantages and disadvantages of the field, — 
viewing it with a military eye, — ^he descanted at great length, on 



THE SHAH FIGHT. 100 

the impottaoce of the post to which The Borough Buffs were ap- 
pointed. It was a hill that rose almost perpendicularly from the 
bank of a swift brook, and was nearly inaccessible at all points 
except in the rear. 'Brother-officers/ cried the lieutenant-ccrfonel, 
'the gallant general who commands us, on this occasion, pro- 
nounces the post to be impregnable ; — and I feel most grateful to 
him for the high honour of having entrusted its defence to die 
gallant corps of Borough Buffs under my command. We form, 
gentlemen, the right arm — the adjutant says, * wing ' — but I say, 
the right arm' — 'Wing I' interrupted the pertinacious and very 
unpleasant adjutant. 'Well, the wing,' — thus the lieutenant- 
colonel went on ; ' the gizeard-wing, of what are supposed to be 
the English forces: — our instructions are, to maintain our post 
against a regiment of breechless Highlanders; and I doubt not but 
that success will crown our efforts. Let not our renown be 
tarnished by the non-attendance of any of the officers or privates 
of the corps ; — let not any man's wife or family, by vaiu fears, 
induce him to hang back on this occasion. It is the first time 
we have ever had an opportunity of distinguishing ourselves ; and 
I pledge my word that there is no more danger than in an 
ordinary parade. The general, when he inspected ns, did me 
the honour to say, that there wajB not a corps in the service whose 
accoutrements were cleaner, or whose coats fitted better. Brother- 
officers, let us prove that we fit our coats, as well as they fit us ; — 
let us shew those who sneer at us for being tradesmen, that, if 
we do — as they say — ^if we do drive bargains upon parade, we can 
also drive the enemy in the field !' The applause which had been 
gradually increasing at every interval between the lieutenant- 
colonel's sentences, here reached its climax; the officers at the 
lower end of the table very freely joined in it, out of respect to 
the corps; indeed, the conduct of these gentlemen was exceedingly 
flattering on this occasion. But to continue: — 'Gentlemen,' 
exclaimed the lieutenant-colonel, 'I know that your feelings 
match exactly with my own; but, remember, we have a keen 
enemy to encounter; we must, therefore, be as cool, as collected, 
and as sharp as needles. We shall be supported by two com- 
panies of infantry, who will take up a position, at a little distance 
on our left, and so connect us with the main line. The companies 
I allude to are of that glorious and gallant regiment to which our 
worthy guests with the blue facings belong : they, as well as a 
troop of yeomaniy, which I expect will muster six or eight-and- 



110 THE SHAM VIQHT, 

thirty strong, will be tacked to The Boroc^h Bu£& and lecave my 
orders/ — * Compose, with our corpS) the division under my com- 
mand/ muttered the adjutant But the lieutenant-colonel either 
did not hear, or would not heed him, and went on wi^ his speech* 
* Gentlemen,' said he, ' I have only to repeat my thanks for the 
honour you have conferred on me ; — to beseech the greatest 
punctuality, neatness, and despatch^ to-morrow ; and to drink 
success to the loyal and efficient corps of Borough Buff Volun- 
teers!' The tumultous cheers with which this toast was received, 
I will not attempt to describe. The lieutenant-colonel sat down 
very weU satisfied with himself, as well he might, and everything 
went on amicably for above an hour; when the peace of the party 
was rather disturbed by a violent quarrd, between Alderman 
Major Arkfoot and Alderman Lieutenant SquiU, one of the com* 
mittee-men, relative to the goose or the swan,--whichever it might 
be, on the presentation-cup. Words, at last, rose to such a 
height, that Alderman Arkfodt — ^very indecently referring to con. 
nubial affairs, totally without foundation, — ^for I do not think any 
man, besides her husband, was better acquainted with the private 
ife and domestic virtues of Mrs. Squill than myself, — most injudi- 
'Uously, in his heat, called Alderman Squill 'a cuckoldy cuxi' 
Mderman Squill asked, very warmly, ' what he meant by his 
iouhle entejidre ?* And the corps might have been seriously dia- 
graced, by an effusion from that feature whence no mUitary man 
wishes to shed his blood, when the lieutenantrcolonel, with that 
infinite presence of mind for which he has always been admirable 
in business, the council-chamber, or the field, rose up) and placing 
a hand on each belligerent party's mouth, who were sitting, or 
rather, standing, within his reach, and c^posite each ot^er, — 
called upon one of the officers with the blue facings, for a senti- 
ment or a songw A tall captain, whose face, if I may presume to 
say 80, was too ferocious to be genteel, but who had, I must 
needs testify^ been very prominent in applauding the lieutenant- 
colonel's speech, immediately complied, and, with his victorious 
voice, soon vanquished the inimical and unsociable uproar at owr 
end of the table, which ought to have set a pattern to the junior 
officers in the centre. But a good-natured gentleman's song or 
saying, often produces an effect very different to what the singer 
or the sayer intends ; and this was the case with the ditty of the 
captain of the ferocious aspect and colossal voice. His burthe% 
or chorus, which he meant as a compliment to U8| was turned 



THE SHAM VIGHT. Ill 

into s sneer, by some wbo sat nesr the colonel, and who always 
felt flore even at a oompUment on the corps from any of the 
regulars. The words of the chorus were, simply^ as I shall here 
specify; — ^to wit, — as the law says : — 

' The Borough Volunteers, my boysi 
Are men both stout and bold ; 
And when they meet the enemy, 
They scorn to be controll'd !* 

'' For iny own part, I felt obliged to the gentleman, and con- 
sideared the expressiens as highly gratifying to every member of 
the corps; bnt there were some about me who thought differently. 
They said, that the word * stout,' in the second line, was palpably 
meant satirieally, on account of the portliness of the greater 
part of the officers of The Borough Buffib ; and that the two last 
lines were intended to be ofiensiye, because the singer well knew 
that our corps, never yet having had the good fortune to be 
oppeaeA to an enemy, conld not possibly have exhibited its valour. 
Hiere were two riders tacked to this reading of the lines ; one oil 
winch was, that the words, * They scorn to be controlled!' 
smoiHited to an impeachment on our discipline: the second, I 
recollect, went ibrther, and broadly stated, that those words 
implied cowardice ; and that^ were the corps ever to be brought 
fece to ikce with an enemy, we, The Borough Bufis, should, in 
our fears, so scorn control, as to shew oinr adversaries a regiment 
of heelB f Alderman Arkfoot observed, that as we were all in 
r^imeiitids,' We ought to fedl and act as gentlemen, and call the 
individual to an account for his olmoxious chorus; which, he 
doubted not, might be explained away; but for the honour of the 
corps, he thot^ht it ought to be noticed. The lieutenant-colonel, 
and several others, were of the same opinion ; and it was unani- 
mously agreed, that the officer, with the ferocious aspect and 
exceedingly stupendous voice, should be hauled over the coals. — 
The discussion was held in a low tone of v<»ce amongst ourselves, 
at the head of the table ; we had arrived at that point, when men 
break into knots, and discourse in dozens, so that our debate was 
unheard and tumoticed by those who were below us* It was 
agreed that satisfaction should be demanded; and there the matter 
seemed to rest, or rather, to be dying away, for nobody volun- 
tsered to do ^ nee^bL At last, when another subject had been 



112 THE 8HAM VI6HT. 

started, tiie adjutant mooted it up again, by saying, that we 
reminded him of the feble of the mice, who decided on putting a 
bell round Grimalkin's neck, but no valorous individual would 
imdertake the exploit. — 'Gentlemen,' continued he, Hhat the 
officer at the bottom of the table did intend an insult to the corps, 
I have no doUbt ; — ^far be it from me to say we do not merit his 
sneers ; — but that matters not ; it behoves us to keep up a cha- 
racter, though we know we do not deserve it. The gentleman 
must be spoken with. I should do myself the honour of presenting 
him with my card, but that it would be a high breach of military 
decorum for me to take precedence, in the business^ of the 
lieutenant-colonel and Major Arkfoot ; on either of whom I shall 
be proud and happy to attend on this most peremptory occasion.' 
The lieutenant-colonel and Alderman Arkfoot now thought tfaey 
saw the expressions in rather a different light: they very properly 
animadverted upon the evil of bickering or quarrelling about 
trifles ; — protested that a joke was a joke ; — observed that the 
gentleman was their guest, and tonnonrow was appointed for the 
sham flght ; and, finally, began to joke and jog off, by degreesi 
to other affairs,— giving such a favourable colour to the matter, as 
they dropped it, as to excite my admiration and respect But the 
buU-dog adjutant still persevered in pinning them to the point; 
and, in the end, positively drove our reluctant friends into a tacit 
compliance with his request, to be constituted the second of one 
of them in the affair. He would not speak to the officer with 
the ferocious aspect and blue facings on the subject at table, but 
said he should defer it until the party broke up. He then began 
to be horribly gay and loquacious. Melancholy reigned among 
the rest of us, at the upper end of the table, during the residue of 
our stay, and we wished our worthy lieutenant-colonel and 
Alderman Arkfoot < good night!' with aching hearts; — ^blessing 
ourselves, individually and silently, as we went home, that we 
were not field-officers of The Borough Baffk. The adjutant, sure 
enough, spoke to the officer who had sung the song, that night ; 
but the gentleman would give no satisfaction, and was so £ftati- 
dious, as to refuse fighting either the lieutenantrcolonel, the 
major, or, as he said, any other mechanical or counter fellow 
in the corps : but as for the adjutant, (who had served, I must 
tell you, in a marching regiment, and sold out,) he'd fight him 
with the greatest pleasure in life, because he was a gentleman. 
The next morning they met; our adjutant was attended by f 



THB SHAM FIGHT. US 

(me-answd Ueatenant of the &avy, because the friend of the officer 
of ihe fevocious aspect refiised, like hi« principal, to meet any of 
ttioa (^ subject Thus the adjutant dug a pit for himself^ and 
Bone of ua were more sony than became us for it, except that it 
deprired ue of his advice in the sham fight; for the wound wluch 
he received in the duel with the officer, although by no means 
da&gerottSy was sufficient to prevent him from leaving his bed for 
a week, 

" The ncKt aaoming, half the borough was in arms, and the 
vemainder in an iq>roftr. We mustered, at an early hour, in a 
large fields adjoining Captain Tucker's tan-pits ; and only nine men 
and one officer Sd not anawer to their names. The officer was 
Sui^eon Tamlen ;*-*he was obliged to remain in attendance on 
Lieutenant Squill's good lady» who was really of such an aSec- 
tiooaie and anxions Cmsi, that her forebodings lest the lieutenant 
diould get hart had so worked upon her nerves, that he left her 
with positive symptoms of fever. Nothing, however, coiild deter 
him from doing his duty; he felt satisfied that aU her wants 
and wisfaftt would be attended to by Surgeon Tamlen, in his 
ahsenoe, and joined us in very tolerable spirits, considering all 
things. I forgot to menti(» that, besides the defaulters, a third 
of the grenadiers were abeent on some secret service, the nature 
of which we could not divine, notwithstanding the lieutenant- 
o^nel winked very significantly when we noticed their non- 
i^ypearance. Several ladies, in barouches and landaus, with 
bi^ favours in their bosoms and bonnets, — the wives and 
•dax^kters of the officers and other leading men in the borough, — 
sahited us as they dashed along the road which bounded the 
field, on their way to the lull. Such a circumstance as a sham 
fight had not ooeurred in our neighbourhood within the memory 
of man; and every lady was, naturally enough, anxious to witness 
the interesting scene, in which her husband or father was to bear 
some con^icuous part. Precisely as the clock of the Borough 
HaB struck eight, we marched off, with drums beating, colours 
flying, and 'everything agreeable and auspicious. I must give 
the lieutenant-oolonel the credit to say that, in our preliminary 
manoeuvres, as wdl as diuring the march, the officers and men 
were much more comfortable than if the adjutant had been with 
us; the latter being a mian who was eternally finding fault, 
where no other indtvidual in the regiment could perceive any 
thing to be amiss. After a distressing march of two hours and 



114 TH£ SHAM FIGHT. 

8 half, along a dusty road, we reached the rear of the hSSL 
'Ihere we halted for about twenty minuteB, and then proceeded 
to mount the acclivity, all the difficulties of which we overcame^ 
and on our arrival at its summit, were gratified by a proflpect 
which fully recompensed us for our toils. The secret service on 
which the grenadiers had been sent was now veiy pleasantly- 
palpable. Our excellent lieutenant-colonel, whose prudence and 
attention on all occasions, no words of mine can sufficiently 
applaud, had despatched, at day-break, two artillery-waggons, 
which he had requested for the purpose from the general, under 
convoy of our grenadiers, to the post we were to occupy. « The 
first waggon contained thirty roimds — ^not of ball-cartridges — ^but 
beef, a strong detachment of turkies, a squadron of hams, a 
troop of tongues, and several battalions of boiled fowls and legs 
of mutton. The second waggon was garrisoned by hampers of 
wine, ale, and liquors ; and plates, knives and forks, bread, cheese, 
mustard, and all the etceteras of the table, were billetted in the 
various crannies and comers. There was only one drawback on 
the delight which the appearance of so many good things pro- 
duced : — the men, not having been made acquainted with the 
lieutenantrcoloners kind intention of ordering a cold collation 
out of our surplus funds, for refreshment after our intended 
repulse of the Highlanders, had each brought his dinner in his 
knapsack ; or, where no private and individual provision had been 
made, messes were arranged, and every man carried his separate 
quota for the general good. For instance t — one had charged his 
knapsack with a beef-steak pie, another with a ham, a third with 
a fillet of veal, a fourth with a keg of ale, and so on. Notwith- 
standing this, we could not help admiring our lieutenant-colonel's 
foresight, in providing for our wants and comforts. It was 
certainly to be wished though, that he had not restricted him- 
self to a wink or a nod on the occasion ; and this was the chief 
mistake in judgment which he committed, much to his praise be 
it spoken, in the course of that arduous and eventful day. The 
ladies, who had left their landaus and barouches at the foot of the 
hill, were busy, on our arrival, laying out the refreshments in the 
most elegant and tasteful manner imaginable : — each dish was 
garnished by laurel leaves; and in the centre of the cloths, 
which were laid upon a part of the groimd that was levelled and 
mown for the purpose, we beheld, as we marched along the flank 
of the collation, a device in confectionary, which excited the 



TttS SHAH FIGHT. 115 

warmest approbation of the whole corpe~^-offlcen as well as men : 
it consisted of a rariety of expressive and appropriate martial 
ornaments, around which buff ribbons were entwined, supporting 
a splendid cage of barley-sugar, with a bird cut out of currant- 
jeBy inside it, and a cap of liberty surmounting the whole ! — ^We 
gave three cheers at the sight, and instantly prepared for action. 
But the colonel, with evident indignation and his accustomed 
dignity, reprimanded the corps in general, and two of the 
privates, — ^butchers and brothers, by-the-by, who were sharpening 
knives on their bayonets, — ^in partici4ar, for this improper and 
very unsoldier-like ebullition. He pointed to the Highlanders, 
who were already forming for attack at the foot of the hill ; and 
bade us remember that, in his last general orders, he had specially 
enjoined every officer and man in the corps to eat a good break- 
fast before he lefb home; so that no one had any excuse for 
being hungry these two hours. The grenadiers were ordered to fix 
bayonets in front of the collation, and the main body of the corps 
immediately obeyed the word of command to march. In a few 
moments we were at the brow of the hill ; and there, in the 
presence of the Highlanders, and, indeed, two-thirds of the 
whole field, the lieutenant-colonel put us through as much of 
the platoon exerdise as he thought fit. Chily three muskets were 
dropped during the driU ; and^ at its conclusion, the lieutenant- 
colonel. Major Arkfoot, and the other officers who were picked 
out for the staff, rode through the ranks, diffiising courage and 
confidence, with small glasses of brandy, to every man in the 
corps. 

" At length we heard the enemy's right wing opening a 
tremendous fire far away on our left ; the lieutenant-colonel 
immediately dismoimted, for his horse did not exhibit sufficient 
symptoms of discipline to warrant our commander's retaining 
lus seat ; and, at that moment, the Highlanders struck up a 
popular tune on their bagpipes, to which, on turning our eyes 
towards the munitions, we observed our fair ladies reeling it 
away, very elegantly, with the gallant grenadiers. On came the 
enemy, gaily, as if they were going to a wedding ; but, wait a bit, 
thoi^ht we, they will look rather foolish when they come to the 
bank of the brook, — of which they really did not seem to be aware. 
We were all ready to break out into one universal shout of laughter 
at their surprise, and immediately to gaU them with a tremendous 
ToHey of blank cartridge ; when, to our astonishment^ on reaching 



116 THE SHAM FIGHT. 

the bank, they marched into the water, and dap thiDUgh it^ 
without breaking step, or the time of the tune they played on 
their bagpipes ! — Our lieutenant-colonel, as may very naturally 
be supposed, was totally unprepared for this ; even though they 
did not wear breeches, he could not have foreseen that they 
would have marched above their knees in water, at a sham fight : 
— ^but he did not lose his presence of mind; he immediately 
ordered the drums to beat, the fifes to play, the colours to be 
waved, the whole corps to fire, and every individual, officers and 
all, to increase the noise of the volley, by a stout and hearty 
hurrah ! — We had scarcely obeyed his orders, when the ladies 
set up a shriek wliich shattered every man's nerves in the ranks. 
We looked over our left shoulders at the sound, and, to our 
infimte dismay and amazement, beheld a body of Highlanders 
at our backs, advancing in double quick time, with bayonets 
fixed, to charge us in rear ! The lieutenant-colonel, perceiving 
the critical posture of affiurs, and ever alive to the wel&re of the 
corps, ran round to meet the enemy ; and cried, with aU his 
might, ' Halt ! remnant of the Highlanders ! Halt! remnant of 
the Highlanders! Halt, I repeat!' — ^But the savage rogues, who 
had marched round the hill unperceived by us, while their com* 
rades advanced in front, heeded the lieutenant-colonel as little 
as if he had been an oyster-wench, and stall came on at a dog* 
trot pace ; while the other fellows of the regiment, who had, by 
this time, nearly reached the brow of the hUl, did the like, with 
loud shouts and fixed bayonets, as though it were a real, instead 
of a sham fight. At last, — the lieutenant-colonel in the rear, 
and Major Arkfoot in front, being actually within a few paces 
of their points — the lieutenant-colonel, out of a most fatherly 
regard for those under his command, thinking the matter began 
to be above a joke, and not knowing to what extent the terrific 
enthusiasm of the Highlanders might cany them, gave at onoe 
the word, and a most excellent example to all who chose to 
follow it, for retreating. Thus, we were compelled, through 
violence and a fraudulent ruse-de-guerre, which we were totally 
miprepared to expect in a sham fight, to leave our ladies, legs 
of mutton, turkeys, wine, hams, and other provisions, at the 
mercy of a rude and breechless enemy! One or two of our 
fellows, who could not get away, described to us, afterwards, the 
unseemly glee with which the hungry, half-starved Highlandersi 
aat down to our rounds of bee( boiled fowls, tongue, and other 



THE SHAM FIOHT. 117 

dainties and drinkables ; and how soon these things disappeared 
before them. But what really irked and annoyed us more than 
the mishap and loss of our collation, was, that the ladies, for 
months after, vaunted the gallantry and politeness of the High- 
land officers, who, — confound them I — ^it seems, protested against 
the amusements of the fair ones being interrupted by their 
appearance; and, after derouring the Ueutenantrcolonel's cold 
collation, insisted, with the most marked urbanity, on our wivei 
and daughters continuing their reels to the sound of the hag-* 
pipes, substituting themselveft for the flying grenadiers* We 
heard of nothing in the town, for ten months after, but the gal- 
lant Highlanders and their handsome legs, and a dozen other 
matters to which husbands and fathers have solid objections to 
listen. Lieutenant and Alderman Squill had the iU-nature to 
say, that he felt exceedingly happy that his wife had been taken 
so very unwell that morning, as to be placed under the care of 
Surgeon Tamlen ; and those villains, the epigram writers, in the 
poet's comer of our country paper, had the impudence to 
lampoon us, for leaving, as they said, our DalHas in the hands 
of the Philistines. But we bore our taunts with manly fortitude; 
though, I must say, the fact is not yet forgotten in the borough ; 
and the young ladies grieve, who were not old enough to be on 
the hill, with their mamas or sisters, when the gallant High- 
landers, as they call them, routed The Borough Buffs. 

** We retreated in such disorder as circmnstances rendered 
inevitable for above a mile, when our wind failing us, we rallied. 
The line was no sooner formed than somebody proposed that we 
should lunch ; the motion was carried unanimously, and down 
the men sat to devour the contents of their knapsacks : the 
Ueutenant-Kiolonel, Major Arkfoot, and the rest o£ the Btaff, 
advanced to the carriages where the ladies had left their pro- 
visions, under the laudable pretence of reconnoitring ; — ^for field 
officers must eat, although they should seem to be above it, as 
well as privates. We occasionally heaved a sigh for the poor 
things we had left behind us, and determined to effect a rescue 
at all hazards; but none of us indulged in such unmilitary 
9oaow as to blunt the edge of our appetites, and we proceeded 
to lunch very satisfactorily. But another misfortune, which no 
human foresight could prevent, occurred to the corps while we 
were eating. We had very naturally concluded that the High- 
linden would have remained content with obtaining possession 



118 THE SHAM FIGHT, 

of the post ; or, at any rate, been retained by the attractions of 
the collation and the ladies ; we, therefore, felt quite easy. But, 
strange to say, the fellows not only devoured our provisions, 
danced, drank, and sang, while we were retreating, but actually 
came upon us again before we could fully sacrifice to the cravings 
of nature. The lieutenant-colonel and the whole of the staff were 
taken prisoners, and driven off, under an escort of Highlanders, 
in solemn mockery, in the landaus and barouches, to our ancient 
borough ; and we, who were now without an efficient leader, 
felt obliged to scamper — ^we scarcely knew where. We acted as a 
hive of ants, when their haunt is suddenly invaded by a ruthless 
brood of juvenile turkeys ; each of us snatched up a gun, a 
knuckle of ham, a knapsack, or a loaf, no matter to whom it 
belonged, so that each individual was freighted for the general 
good, and away to go ! — We had not proceeded far before we 
were overtaken, and our progress was arrested by the troops 
under the orders of the captain of the ferocious aspect, blue 
facings, and terrific voice. No sooner had he ascertained the 
situation of our affairs, than he assumed the command, and 
ordered us to halt, in a tone and manner that nobody felt inclined 
to disobey. The Highlanders, finding that they were not a 
match for us in retreating, had, previously, relinquished the 
pursuit, in favour of a regiment of cavalry, who came down upon 
us at full speed. The captain of the ferocious aspect seeing this, 
immediately drew us off into a field, — for we were now in an 
inclosed country, — and after commanding his own men, the 
yeomanry, and the centre company of our corps, to fly in the 
greatest apparent disorder, ordered us to draw up, with a quick- 
set hedge and a deep and very dirty ditch between us and the 
ehemy. When the cavalry had reached within a few hundred 
yards of the hedge which protected us, the captain with the 
huge voice said, in a whisper which was heard from one end of 
the line to the other : — * The Borough Buff Volunteers wiU all 
lie down in the ditch !' This order spread consteniation through 
the corps ; but down we were obliged to go — in the filthy, abomi- 
nable puddle and mire, lying in close order from one end of the 
ditch to the other, and fouling our regimentals in a manner that 
made us, collectively and individually, grieve in the most super- 
lative degree. Anon, the cavalry came up, — ^little dreaming that 
we were l)dng in the mire and puddle, — leaped the hedge and 
ditch, in line, and scampered off after the fugitives. They had 



TBK IBAH rWHT. 119 

■cucelj gallaped » hundred pacss, whsn th« o^ttun with tha 
£eT»cioua aspect ordered ui to rue, form on the bank, and poor 
a vollej, which we hod kept in leaerve, into their rew. The 
cenbe companj, the regulan, and yeotatary, no Moner heard 
the report than, in pumiance of Older* they had received, they 
formed and faced ahout for attack. — We then charged the enemy, 
in &ont and in rear at the tame luoment ) and there being 
no outlet to the field on the right or left, the cavalry vere 
completely pkced at a nonplus ; and had the biuineu been a 
bond fidt engagement, their position, as you must needs admit, 
would not have been altogether exquisite. — This manreuvre of 
the captaio with the blue fiicinga and ferocious upect retrieved 
the honour of the Borough Bu^ ; and we tetumed home with 
dnmu beating, coloun flying, and great eclat, notwithstanding 
we had loet our field-officers, our ladies, otv provisions, and 
poMession of the unpregntble hilL" 



THE BACHELORS DARLING, 

On a fine summer's morning, a few years ago, two travellen 
were observed by the tumpike-woman, approaching along the 
high road, towards Bilberry Gate ; both were on foot, and one of i 

them led a very pretty poney, Idden with two or three half- ; 

filled sacks, and an assortment of new and second-hand sauce- ] 

pans, ladles, and similar wares. As they advanced, the turn- ] 

pike-woman amused herself, by picking up such crumbs of their j 

discourse, as the distance between her and the interlocutors 
would permit ; and by putting what she thus gleaned together, 
Dame Hetty discovered that they were strangers to each oth^ ;— > > 

the tinker's companion having scraped acquaintance with that 
worthy only a few minutes before, on the ground of their both 
being, apparently, journeying in the same direction. The tinker, 
she thought, was about thirty, or two-and-thirty years of age, 
at the utmost ; he was a rough, thick-set fellow, of a middling 
size, with a loud voice and swaggering deportment His com- 
panion. Dame Hetty set down in her own mind as an Irishman, 
by his brogue ; — ^he was, most likely, she thought, a beggar or a 
ballad-singer, or both, by his accoutrements ; he had -a. wooden 
leg, a patch over his right eye, and the left sleeve of his ragged 
military jacket seemed to be empty. Hetty conjectured from 
these appearances that he might be an old soldier ; but thought 
it was more probable that he had lost his limbs and eye by 
casualties not produced by war; and had assumed regimentals, 
as a striking costume for a maimed beggar or ballad-singer, 
although, perhaps, he had never smelt powder since he fired off 
penny cannons in his urchinhood. 

These ideas came into Dame Hetty's head, without any 
solicitation on her part : she cared as little about the travellers 
as they did about her ; but she looked at them and thought about 
them merely for want of a better subject, while she waited at 
the gate-side in expectation of the tinker's toll. When the two 
men and the poney arrived within a few yards of the turnpike, 
they turned suddenly to the right, and entered a lane which led 
towards a village a few miles off. The poney's tail had scarcely 



THE bachelor's BAKLINO. 121 

cBsappeared, when the dame entered the gate cottage, muttering 
that this was the fourth time she had heen diBappointed, early 
as it was in the day, hy folks going down the lane instead of 
coming along the high road. '' But, odd !" said she ; ** I mustn't 
expect every horse that comes in sight will pass the gate, when 
it's revel-day in the village. If there were a bar, now, put across 
the lane, as hath long heen talked of, I should ha' caught the 
tinker's penny: but though he hath leave, my husband never 
will do't, that's certain ; — a stupid toad ! if 'tweren't for I, he 
wouldn't have a hole to put his head in; and much thanks I get ! 
Lord ! if I were but a man !" 

While Dame Hetty was soliloquizing to the foregoing effect, 
the tinker and his companion proceeded at a quiet pace down the 
lane : the narrow road had a verdant margin on each side, of 
considerable breadth ; it was broken into knolls in some parts, 
and here and there a hawthorn flourished, or a bramble sheltered 
a fimiily of tall weeds : the thorns and briars bore evidence that 
sheep were occasionally permitted to pasture in the lane ; a horse, 
with a huge log chained to one of his hind legs, to prevent him 
firom roaming far, was quietly grazing on one side of the road ; 
and neariy opposite him, a pig, wearing a collar, as an estoppel 
to his invading the fields, by creeping through their hedges, lay 
dozing on the other, near an old dung-heap that was nearly 
covered with " summer's green and flowery livery." 

The travellers had proceeded but a few paces down the lane, 
when they observed a thin stream of smoke rising from behind a 
laige bush, which grew within a little distance of the right-hand 
hedge, and they immediately turned their steps across the turf 
towards it. On approaching nearer, they discovered a tall, lean 
man, in a plaid cloak, actively engaged in raking together the 
embers of a fire, and placing bits of dry wood upon a little blaze 
that shot up iVom its centre. ** Is this a gipsy's old place, I 
wonder ?" said the Irishman ; " and is the pedlar, for so I take 
him to be, making it up to cook his breakfast ? — God save ye 
kindly !" continued he, as he came within hearing of the man in 
the plaid coat. 

" Whither awa', friend ?" quoth the pedlar. 

" Is it to the revel ye're budging, Sawney V* 

•* What would ye give to ken, Paddy? — And if I were ganging 
that gate, why for no, eh? — ^Ye seem to be cattle for that market 
yoimel' ; wi' your bits o' ballads, and them scraps or fragments 

I 



122 THB bachelor's darling. 

o' mortality yeVe saved fra* the wars. Ye're some broken-dowH 
beggar, I doubt Sauf us a' ! isn't it rare to see sic trash perk 
up to a travelling tradesman, and address an honest and respacti^ 
able person wi' a plain ' Sawney r*^a mon, though I say^it, whoae 
bill for sax, ay, or aught pounds, in Bristol or Frome — " 

" Aisy 1 aisy, man 1" interrupted the other; " aisy, or well 
quarrel, I'm sure ; — and when 1 quarrel, 1 fight ; and it isn't 
before breakfast I like fighting -.^-^everything's good in its season ; 
so we won't fight now. As for your bill, though, I'll make bold 
to say this, — so I will, any how — as for your biU, I wouldn't give 
the worst ballad I have, for the best bill you or the likes o' ye ever 
made : — but don't let's be quarrelling, for all that — Do you mark, 
though? if you cast any more dirt upon my person or my goods, 
I'll indorse that bill of yours, that sticks up betuxt your two 
eyes, in the place of a nose, with the fist that's left me. I'll 
engage, if I put my hand to it, it won't add much to its value, if 
you wished to raise money on it : but aisy, both of us ; quar- 
relling does no good." 

'^ Come, come, — I like thee for that, comrade," said the third 
traveller; <*now that's nature;-— so shake hands, both of 'ee, 
lads." 

" Oh ! wid all my heart !" said the Irishman ;- " Darby Do- 
herty isn't the boy to bear malice : but when a big fellow, with all 
his legs and things o' that kind left, tells me about my fragments, 
it puts me up — do you see ? — puts me up, sir : — ^thoi^h I'm not 
one for quarrelling, yet I'd like to have a pelt at him ; but it'n 
before breakfast — ^Why should he notice my legs? It's true 
then, sure enough, I've only one arm, one leg, one wife and a 
child ; — just a thing of a sort : — ^but suppose it's my fimcy to be 
so ; why should he throw it out at me ? — ^wid his dirty pack — his 
case of trumpery there ! — May be I like number one ; why 
shouldn't I ? — Now if I was given to quarrelling, here's an ex- 
cuse, isn't there? But I'm not.-^-How does he know, tinker*— 
for a tinker I take you to be"*~ 

Here the tinker bowed, and again requested Mister Ddlierty 
to shake hands with the North Briton. By his endeavours, in a 
few moments, peace was restored ; the Irishman seemed to have 
forgotten what had passed, but the Scotchman sat raither sullenly 
by the side of the fire, which blazed away very pleasantly. The 
important subject of breakfast was soon broached, and Deherty 
made a proposal to club the contents of their wallets. The tinker 



THB BA€HEL0E*8 DAKIIITO. 121 

fiad a loaf of black, dry, barley-bread, and a triangular mortci 
of cheese, which, DoherQr said, was fit food for cannibals, who 
wore hatchets in their mouths instead of teeth. The pedlar drew 
forth a tin can, containing a small quantity of meal. The Irish* 
man had nothing eatable, but, as he assured his companions, an 
appetite that would make up for the deficiency. ** I never carry 
any food outside my skin," said he; ''when I've a trifle of 
money to spare, I invariably invest it in whiskey. I've just nine- 
pen'orth in my bottle here now ; or may be more, ibr it wasn't 
empty when I made the last purchase ; and I'd share it most 
generously wid ye, if ye'd anything aqnal in value to oi&r me 
in return : — but you, tinker, have nothing but black bread, and 
a little yellow bit of granite, you call cheese—" 

" Nothing, — ^that's it," replied the tinker ; " except a feed for 
the poney. He ! he ! mayhap you'll eat a oat ?" 

** Oh ! go to Otaheite,-— where Captain Cook couldn't dresa 
ha dinner. Do you take me for Caesar, or any similar savage T-^- 
And you, Mr. Pedlar, have nought in your wallet but dry meal, 
to make cold stirabout, or a roky-poley bolus, worked up wid 
water, in the hollow of vour hand." 

** Didna I tell ye so?" said the pedlar ; '' and a wee bit it is, 
ts ye may see." 

" And youVe nothing in the wide world else 7" 

** Nought that ye can eat." 

** Then ould Ireland for ever ? I'm a made man I— If yon've 
nothing eatable but meal, these red herrings are mine : I juat 
picked them up from the grass wh^re your pack stood, a while 
ago, when you were dipping into it for the meal-can. They can't 
be yours, youll own !" 

'' I tdii ye they are, though," cried the pedlar, advancing 
towards Doherty ; " and what's mair — " 

" Aisy, aisy, again, .or else we'll quarrel," said Doherty, 
pushing him gentiy aside ; ''I'll abide by what the tinker says." 

" He's an intaiasted party," replied the pedlar ; " and I'll n» 
cottstitate him arbitrator." 

« Well, well, dien,--I'll tell you what well do, '--don't let's 
quarrel;— «to settle everything amicably, I'll trate you to a herring 
a>pieee«— *Yott won't ? Did you ever see the likes of him t-^-^ 
I'm sure we'U quarrel: I'm sure we'll have a fight at last; 
dioi^ I wouldn't for five farthings, — and that's money you'll 
own j^^bot Jove himself couldn't stand this." 

I 2 



124 ' THE bachelor's DABUNa. 

" The baUad-singer speaks fair, in my mind, pedlar," quoth 
the tinker. 

'' Hech I now, nane o' your havers ! I'm no sic a puir daft 
body as to be gulled o' my guids, by birds o' your feather; 
rad barrings dinna swim into a mon's wallet,' wi' whistling ; you 
must bait your fingers wi' siller to catch them in these pairts,— 
and groats dinna grow upon bushes noo-a-days." 

" Well, that's true enough," said the tinker ; " give him his 
fishes, and we'll buy one a-piece of him." 

" Let's know what he'll take, though, before we part wi' 
them," said the Irishman ; " may be we'd quarrel about the 
price after." 

" Right, — very right," replied the tinker. 

" Sirs," quoth the pedlar, " business is bad ; the girls dinna 
pairt with their hair noo, as they used, for a bauble or so, — a mon 
must hae guid guids for them. I'd be free, and invite ye to share 
wi' me, — but prudence wouldna tolerate it in ane like me, that 
has eleven bairns." 

" Now that's what I call nature J" exclaimed the tinker witb 
considerable emphasis. 

" An arithmetical excuse for being stingy," quoth Doherty ; 
" Eleven children ! and I've one at home, — which is a bag at his 
mother's back, — that would eat as much as any seven of them. 
I'd another, once, but the blackguard gipsies coaxed her away 
from the side of lis, when we was singing, ' Rogues around you,' 
at Weyhill. They did it by ginger-bread, or something like it, 
I think ; — ^bad luck to them !" 

" Ay ! ay ! just as the pigeon people do decoy other folks' 
young birds by hemp-seed and salt-cats. Oh! it's naturaL — 
Why, now, there's a chap, whose sweepings I ha' bought 
lately "— 

" Whose what ?" inquired Doherty. 

''The sweepings of his loft," replied the tinker; " he's a 
pigeon-keeper, and I'm a collector." 

" Oh ! a sort of scavenger to the birds V* 

" Ay, truly ; there's many dove-cotes hereabouts, and col- 
lecting be my main business ; they do use the sweepings in tan- 
ning. I pays a shilling a bushel for 'em if they be clean, and so 
turns an honest penny. — ^Tinkering isn't half what it was, since 
iron crocks have come in so much. To be sure, the maidens do 
save the broken spoons for me to melt and mould again when I 



i 



THE bachelok's da&liko. 125 

comes round ; and there's a cullender or so, mm and then, to 
solder; — ^but what's that? — I'm a tradesman, as well as the 
pedlar, and what's more, a mechanic ; hut if my trade won't 
support me, why should I support my trade, eh f — ^WeD, what did 
J do ; hut take to waddling, as we call it, for wood-ashes to tell 
to the soap-makers, and pigeon-cleanings for the tanners ; and so 
I contrives, one way and another, to make a pretty good bit of 
bread." 

" Is this a specimen ?** said the Irishman, taking up the 
tinker's loaf. — ** If it is, faith I then, the world's but a middling 
oven for you." 

'* Stop ! — ^here !" cried the tinker, as Doherty was about to roll 
the loaf along the grass : " Don't do that ; — ^my poney is the 
biggest thief as ever I knowed, — that is, for a horse. He'd snap 
it up in no time." 

** Would he ? — ^Then I honour him for his talent ; though the 
less we say about his taste the better. Who taught him them 
tricks ?" 

'< Why, I did — that is, partly — ^but somebody stole him 
from me.' 

** Musha ! then the man who did that, wouldn't scruple to 
rob a thief of his picklock. Well !" — 

'' Well, he got into the riders' hands ; — them chaps that goes 
about to fairs, and revels, you know." 

** Yes, I know; — ^and they finished his education ; and when you 
got him again he was quite accomplished, without any trouble or 
expense to yourself. Tinker, you're a lucky man ! I don't think 
you and I would ever quarrel upon a point o' conscience." 

" No^ no ; — that wouldn't be natural." 

*' Friends," observed the Scotchman, " we're wasting time ; 
and time, to a prudent mon, is siller : — ye're wasting it in idle 
discourse. The barrings — " 

<' Oh ! dirty butter upon yomr herrings and every one of 
them ! Would you pick a quarrel with me again f" vociferated 
Darby. '^ Tinker, bring me one of your second-hand kettles, or 
crocks, and let's make soup or something, and go to breakfast. 
1£ you'll club your herrings, your meal, and your bread, — why 
then I'll be my whiskey," 

The pedlar acquiesced with the best grace a man, who is com- 
pelled to give his consent to a proposition, possibly could: a 
debate ensued, as to the best mode of cooking the food ; it was, 



126 THB BACHJELOE'8 OAKLIKa. 

at length, decided that the meal should he hoiled in a gallon <rf 
water, and that the herrings should he hroiled, and then pot into 
the pot to give the mess a flavour. ** If diat won't make it sidt 
enough," said Darhy, ** a hit of humt stick will do the business 
royally. The finest salt in the world is the ash of an ash stick. 
Now, hoys," continued he, *' see, here's the whiskey bottle. 
I'll just hitch it up, by the string that holds it about my neck, to 
the branch above us here ; — so that, when we sit down, we can 
swing it one to the other, drink, and let go again, without any 
fear of its being upset Oh, then ! discretion's a jewel any day 
in the year." 

Doherty now began the culinary task, in which he exhibited 
a considerable degree of dexterity, considering his bodily defi- 
ciencies. While his only hand was employed in preparing the 
herrings for the gridiron, with which the tinker had burnished him, 
his wooden leg was whirled rapidly round the crock, to mix up 
the poor ingredients that served as the basis of his broth. An 
onion, which the tinker found in his coat-pocket, was shred and 
thrown in, with a few wild herbs, which the pedlar, with his 
pack safely strapped to his back, condescended to gather from the 
adjoining hedge-row. A steam, at length, began to rise from the 
crock, which the parties interested in the contents, found most 
gratefid to their olfactories : the broiled herrings were immersed 
in the broth; Doherty drove them, vigorously, two or three 
times round the crock ; and matters approached fast to a crisis. 
The cook exerted himself to his utmost ; and, in the enthusiasm 
of the moment, perhaps rather over-zealously, took his wooden 
leg out of the broth and thrust it beneath the crock to stir np the 
embers, when some one, who had approached unperceived by 
either of the party, gently touched Darby's elbow. He turned 
half roimd, and beheld a little girl smiling by his side. 

" Will you please to tell me, if I am in the right road to the 
revel, sir ?" said the little girl, in a very winning and innocent 
tone. 

" Is it the road to the revel, darling ?'* said Darby ; *' Why, 
then" — Here Darby stopped short, and his eye wandered over 
the features and person of the young inquirer. She was appa- 
rently about ten years of age ; her skin was remarkably &ir; and 
her eyes, as Darby afterwards said, were as blue and beautiful as 
little violets. She was dressed in a black stuff frock, a tippet of 
the same material, and a seal-skin cap, with a gold band and taaflel. 



THE bachelor's daelimo. 127 

which seemed to have been very recently tarnished by the 
weather. She wore glovesi but had neither shoe nor stocking ; 
and the sight of her delicate, white, little feet, as she held them 
up, <me after the other, toward the fire to warm them, convinced 
Darby that she had but very lately been compelled to walk 
barefooted. 

" Oh ! sir, you're burning your wooden leg !" said the little 
girl, while Darby was gazing at her, and wondering who and 
what she could be; and so absorbed was the worthy ballad- 
linger in the interesting speculation, that he had, in fact, forgotten 
to withdraw his leg from beneath the crock, where he had just 
placed it, as will be recollected, when the little girl touched his 
elbow. At the moment she advised him of the fact, Darby 
received a hint or two that corroborated her assertion; — the 
flame had twined up the stem, and rather warmed his stump, and 
the £re blazed with such vigour, recruited as it was by the 
ffipply, that the broth boiled over. His two companions, who 
were dose at hand, both observed this latter circumstance an 
Wtont after the child had ^oken ; the pedlar cried aloud to 
Darby to save the broth, and the tinker shouted with glee to see 
tiie Irishman sacrificing his trusty support for the common good. 
Doher<y did not lose his presence of mind : he withdrew his leg 
firom the fire, and. popped it into the pot ; — thus extinguishing the 
stump, withdrawing the additional stimulus to the fire, and break- 
ing down the rebellious head of the herring-broth, by that single 
and simple act. 

The child could not refrain from giggling, miserable as she 
evidently was, at the scene ; and Darby looked alternately at her 
and his leg, when he withdrew it from the pot again, in so droll a 
manner, that the little girl burst into a fit of laughter, which 
the Irishman, very good-naturedly, subdued, or rather, smothered 
with kisses. 

" Well, my pretty little maid!" said he; "and where have 
you come from, agrah ! eh ?" 

" Oh ! a long — ^Icmg way ; it's £Eu:t)ier than I thought it was 
when I began." 
.. *• And what do you want at the revel V* 

« I mustn't tell you." 

"Eh, then! why not, eh?" 

*' If I was to tell you why I mustn't, you'd know what I 
annted at ihe revel" 



128 THE BACHBLO&'S DiLBLIN0* 

"And Where's your stockings and shoes? Hftve yoa put theii 
ia your pocket, as the giris do in Ireland?" 

'* NOj indeed ; — I wore them out yesterday." 

" And how far have you walked barefoot?" 

•'Oh! ever so far I" 

<' And how far's that?" 

** I can't tell. — Is this the road to the revel?" 

** It is ; — ^but what hurry ? Won't you wait and take pot-luck 
with us r 

" I'm hungry, thank you, sir, but I don't think I could eat 
any pot-luck, — ^it smells so odd ; I never tasted pot-luck in my 
life ; but I thank you, sir, for all that, you know." 

" Now, do you hear that? Do you hear the innocence of her{ 
God send we'd better for you ! — though you won't toll us where 
you come from*" 

" I shouldn't wonder but she hath been stole away," said tho 
tinker ; " stole away, and carried afar, and now hath got liberfy» 
and is seeking home again. That's nature, you know : — a pigeon, 
would do it; a carrier, a horseman, a dragoon, or a middling 
good tumbler even ; and why shouldn't a child?" 

" Wha may ye be in mourning for, my wee lassie ?" inquired 
the pedlar. He was proceeding to ask something about her father 
and mother, when Darby put his hand on the pedlar's mouth, and 
whispered "Wisht! wisht! why not now, eh? — Aisy, or well 
quarrel. Don't you know, you old snail, you! that, a child in 
black should never be axed who it's worn for? May be her 
mother's dead," continued he, raising his voice, and fondling the 
child as he spoke ; " and your goose of a question raised her dead 
ghost up to the little one's memoiy. Look there — see that now — 
if the tears ar'n't running out of her eyes : may be she hasn't a ^ 
father; — and you — ^ye spalpeen, to hurt her feelings that wayl 
Oh ! fie upon you, sir !" 

" Eh, mon ! dinna prate; it's your ain sel' that did the business. 
— Come hither, lassie! lassie, come hither! — Could you eat — 
that is, ha' ye appetite for — a bit of a barring, daintily broiled? 
An' ye could stomach it, I hae just ane in my pack, and 111 
broil it mysel', and ye shall eat it wi' a bit o' biscuit, I think there 
may be in the pack too." 

The' child smiled in the pedlar's face, and, with a nod, signi- 
fied that she would accept his offer. The pedlar then produced 
a fine herring from a comer of his pack, and after a diligent 



THS BACHILOES OAftUNO. 129 

mu^ dii6over«d a piece of biBcmt, wbich he gate ilie litde giri, 
who curtsied as she toak it These transactions by no means 
gratified Mr. Doherty : he was in a passion with the pedlar ; first, 
for possessing a fourth herring; and secondly, for alluring their 
little guest with it firom his arms : he also considered the North- 
Briton's emphatic ofier to broil it himself, as a sneer upon his 
own culinary achievements. Darby was actually at a loss for 
words to express his feelings, and he had recourse to action: 
thrusting his hand deep into his bosom, and twisting his hip to 
meet it, he seemed to be diving into some pouch, that was rarely 
Tisited, and difficult of access. In rather more than a minute, 
his hand re-appeared, with a little odd-shaped bundle of rags in 
its clutch. With the aid of his teeth, he contrived to take ofi* 
several pieces of ribbon and linen, and, at length, a small metal 
snuff-box, in the shape of a high-heeled and sharp-toed shoe, 
emei^ged from the mass He opened it and took out a sixpence. 
"There," said he, (for he had now recovered his speech,) throwing 
tbe coin toward the pedlar, *' take the price of your herring and 
bijBCttit, and give me ^e change. — She shan't be behoulden to you ! 
—Little one !" continued he, addressing the child, " don't listen 
to him ; don't bite at his bait, nor don't go wid him, darling. — 
Will I tell you what he is ? — He's one o' them people that cuts 
the long hair off the girls' heads, and gives them gew-gaws for it 
Hell take you under a hedge, or, may be, when you're asleep, 
pull out a big pair of shears and clip off aU them pretty locks, 
which he'd make shillings of again, from the hair-merchants; for 
I see -you've longer hair than most maids of your age; and, faith ! 
it's beautiful, and he knows it. He's looking at it as a cat would 
at a mouse. — He's a bad man, my dear." 

" Is he f ' said the little girl, apparently half alarmed, but 
still feeling rather inclined to doubt Darby Doherty's account of 
the pedlar ; — *^ Is he a bad man ? — ^Then why do you stay with 
him?" 

"I won't — no, not while you'd whistle, after I've ate his 
herrings ; — ^that is, if youll come wid me. — ^Will you ?" 

'' Perhaps," replied the little girl, " hell say you are a bad 
man ; and then what can I do ?" 

At this the tinker laughed and muttered something about 
nature. The pedlar still held the child, and putting his hand 
under her chin, turned her face upwards, and then looking down 
upon her, spoke thus : — " My wee woman, I hae eleven bairns, 



THE bachelor's DA&IIHe. 

■ome younger iihan youreer, and I wouMna hann rie a puir, wee, 
defenceless cliild as thee, for the worth of an ingot of pure gold ; 
it would weigh down my heart on a death-bed, and carry my soul 
into the sorrowfu' pit I'm a tradesman, and traffic in hair, as 
he has just told you, and have a &mily, — eleren baims, a wife, 
myself^ a daft brither, my first wife's aged and bed-ridden mither, 
and a sister's son, as wee and as fatherless as ye seem yoursel' ;— * 
saxteen mouths to find food for to-day and to-morrow, and every 
mom that I rise. I travel hi and near to get it" 

" Just like a good cock-pigeon," interrupted the tinker; ** I've 
known an old bird feed the young squeakers in one nest, and hb 
mate to boot, while she was setting over her eggs in another :«- 
tightish work ! — ^but there — ^it's natural." 

'* And I dinna scruple," continued the pedlar, without noticing 
the interruption of his companion ; ^* I dinna scruple to do my 
best, and barter, as well as I can, in order to get bread and 
cheese; — ^but not with the like o' thee, cherub. I canna' take 
thee by adoption, for I hae eleven o' my ain. — I'll hold out no 
temptation o' that sort; but I'll carry thee, on the head o' my 
pack, safe and clear to the revel, if there's ony there ye hae a 
wish to see." 

" For that matter," cried the tinker, " she can ride a-top of 
my poney, with the pots and that" 

" Oh I don't be bothering!" shouted Doherty ; ''she shall ride 
upon my wooden leg, or anywhere about me, for have her I 
will ; to the revel she goes wid me, right or wrong, in spite of 
man or baist, tinkers, tay-kettles, pedlars, packs, pilfering ponie% 
and the whole firatamity of ye. — I've said it, and so it shall be.— 
How do I know, — answer me this, — ^how do I know that she isn't 
the child I lost long ago, eh ? — ^That was a girl, and isn't this a 
girl? Now don't be trying to bother my brains with a reply. — 
Darby Doherty is my name, and I'm to be found any day, here 
or there, one place or another, if you go the right road. — ^Ped]ar» 
stop thief! the tinker has stole a herring out of the pot" 

'' Ay, truly, it's time to fall to," quoth the tinker. 

'' Wait a moment !" exclaimed the Irishman ; '' one moment, 
and well all begin amicably. Hear what I've to say : — I've spoken 
what I thought about my honourable firiend the pedlar's scheme 
on the little one ; and why mayn't I indulge in an idea that the 
worthy tinker, in offering to let his poney carry her, doesn't 
•peculate — ^bad luck to his black paws, how he's streaked the 



THE bachelor's DASLUfO. 181 

Woth I — doem't qieculato upon the value of the chikl't ear-rings 
aaid litde necklace? — So, for these reasons. 111 let neither of you 
have her : — ^now I'm aisy." 

** Why, do you mean to throw out hints — " said the tinker, 
laying his herring oa the grass, and advancing with a formidahle 
firown and denched fists toward Darby ; <* dost thee mean — " 

*<Now don't babble; the question's settled," said Darby; 
** don't prate, or well quarreL" 

" And 111 be jiggered if we don't, — ^whether thee likes or not 
111 stand up for my own character; — ^it's nature;— so ax pardon, 
<v strip." 

^ Strip ! How the devil do you think I'd ever get my rags on 
again, eh? Hal ha!" 

** Ck>me, come ; a joke won't carry it off; it's too heavy. Talk 
to I about her ring8l--I— I— I— (^f d— n theel I'll thrash 
liheer 

The ballad-singer held up his stumps, and hopping back two 
pftces, cried, ''What, would you assault one with not a plural 
o^nsive or defensive about him V 

^ Oh ! dang that ! — ^thee'rt right, though ; — ^it's naturaL Here, 
pedlar, help me to tie up my leg and arm, and put thy necker- 
chief athirt my eye :— fair play's the word." 

The little girl now screamed loudly, and beseeched the pedkr 
to faiterfere. " Oh t pray, dear Mr. Pedlar, don't let them fight I, 
Oh I he's going to kill the poor man with the little wooden leg!" 

*^ Do ye hear— do ye hear?" exclaimed the pedlar, " how the 
bit creature — the cause o' your quarrel — " 

** Oh ! pray let me run away," sobbed the child ; ** and then 
perhaps they'll be friends ;— do let me go f " 

*' Stay, darling," quoth Doherty ; ** rather than frighten the 
child, I'U consent to apologize : — ^the heat of the argument made 
me singe the whiskers of my firiend the tinker's honour ; — ^but if 
Am child wasn't where she is, and we were after breakfast, just 
now, right or wrong, tinker, we'd quarrel." 

'< But not fight, it strikes me," muttered the pedlar. 

Calm was again restored, and the trio sat down to their 
breakfast The tinker's loaf was divided; each man devoured 
his herring, and the soup was dipped out of the crock, and drank 
from a little second-hand saucepan, which akemately served each 
of the party. Darby's bottle, which was suspended firom the 
branch above, before the meal was half concluded, had neaity 



182 THE bachelor's darling. 

proved an «pple of discord between the tinker and the pedlar. 
Dajrby began, by taking a tolerably good sup of the contents ; he 
then swung the bottle to the pedlar, who held it so long to his 
lips, that the honest tinker became tilarmed lest he should not 
obtain his share. The pedlar did not withdraw the bottle from 
his mouth ; and when he raised it to an angle of nearly forty-five 
degrees with the horizon, the tinker could no longer sit easy on 
the turf. He started up, rushed across the crock, which he upset 
in his transit, seized the pedlar by the throat with one hand, and 
clutched the bottle with the other. 

" Hold hard !" said he ; " not a drop more goeth down thy 
gullet! Quit thy hold o' the bottle, or 111 choke thee!— I will, 
faith! — it's natural: — thou hast had my bread, let me share in the 
whiskey." 

The residue of the broth made the fire hiss and send forth 
fumes, the odour of which was truly disgusting. The little girl 
screamed again, and Darby Doherty was in high hopes that the 
brawny pedlar would have resented the tinker's attack on his 
person : but he was disappointed. 

" You'll excuse me," said the tinker, bowing as he succeeded 
in obtaining possession of the bottle, " Youll excuse me, bat, 
truly—" 

" Dinna mention it, friend," quoth the pedlar. '* I was wrong 
—I forgot mysel* ; — it was vara well of ye to look to your ain : — 
I forgot mysel', and should have taken it down to the ultimate 
drop; it glides away like a joyful dream. It's Farintosh, I doubt: 
and vara excellent gude as I've tasted for mony a day." 

The child was much amazed to see storm and calm succeed 
each other so rapidly ; she felt alarmed at those whom chance had 
made her associates and would-be protectors; but appetite mastered 
fear, and she soon dried her eyes, and ate the remainder of a 
piece of the herring which the pedlar had broiled £at her while 
his companions were debating, and the biscuit he had discovered 
in his pack. 

After breakfast, the question as to who should take the child 
to the revel, was again started. Each of tiie men spoke resolutely; 
and a third quarrel was already budding, when the little girl stood 
up between the brawlers, and proposed that, as all three of them 
were so kind as to wish to take her, and neither of them would 
let her go with either of the others, she should walk on alone; or, 
that all of tiiem should go with her togetiier. 



u 
it 



THJE bachelor's DARLING. 13S 

An immediate assent was given to this proposal ; the motion, 
as Darby said, was carried by acclamation; and preparations 
were immediately made for starting. While the pedlar was buck- 
ling on his pack, the poney neighed ; and the tinker exclaimed 
" Who comes hither, I wonder, a-horseback 7" 

'* Faith, no one that I see or hear, a-horseback or n-foot,'* 
replied the Irishman. 

Ay, but there do, though, sure as death," said the tinker; 
my poney yean't no false prophet I'll lay pints round, a horse 
is coming : I won't swear for a man, — ^mind me ; — but a horse I 
be sure of; — and, look— dang me if 'tean't Parson Hackle!" 

" And who's he, then ?" inquired the Irishman, as a tall, thin, 
middle-aged man, in a black coat, with long leathern leggings, 
reaching from his toes to his hips, and mounted on a fat, ambling, 
old coach-horse, turned from the high-road, into the lane. " I'll 
just make my obedience and compliments to him as he goes by." 

" Thee'st better not," said the tinker. 

" Why not, then ? — May be he'd drop me a keenogue and be 
dva." 

" Not he, friend ; he's a magistrate, and though a good man 
in the main, mortally hates beggars." 

" Beggars !" exclaimed the Irishman ; " sir, I'm a wandering 
minstrel — one of the tribe of Orpheus of ould ; who, as the song 
says, the stones followed ; and who, moreover, could move stocks 
themselves with his music : — maning, I suppose, that he often got 
pelted by bad boys, and whistled himself out of the stocks, with 
no thanks to the beadle. — Musha ! that I mightn't, then I" 

"Well! I can only tell thee, lad," said the tinker, ''Parson 
Hackle looks as black at a ballad-singer, as his brother, the 
's^piire, do at a man who happens to be misfortunate wi' a maiden.'* 

'' Bad luck to the pair o' them then!" 

'* So say I," quoth the tinker; " I ha' been in their clutches 
afore now, and 111 warrant the person you spoke of couldn't ha' 
bought his liberty wi' an old song, if he got into their wooden 
gaiters." 

" Ohl sir, sir! pray-^ear sir!" said the little girl, who had 
several times in vain attempted to make herself heard, during the 
preceding dialogue between Darby and the tinker, " did you say 
the gentleman's name was Hackle?" 

"Yea, I did, troth!" replied the tinker; "Parson Hatekle." 

^' Parson Hackle 1 " repeated the little girl ; " where is he going?" 



134 THE BACHELOft'8 DAKLIKG. 

" Down to the rerel, I reckon," said the tinker, ''Hke we he; 
only he goeth a-horsehack, and we poor folks a*foot; and he goeth 
to help to keep the peace, and we, mayhap, to help to hreak it 
I can't answer for myself much more for my Mends, after one 
o'clock." 

The tinker was right in his supposition that the reverend 
gentleman was on his way to the scene of the revel, and necessity 
compels us to accompany him; leaving the little girl and her three 
friends, to follow us at their leisure. The Reverend Reginald 
Hackle rode on at a quicker pace than his steed was accustomed 
to: Reginald partook, in some degree, of the hereditary impatience 
of the Hackles ; the humour hroke out but rarely, for Reginald's 
life was as seldom ruffled, as the gentle stream which glode along 
by the garden-hedge of his quiet abode : but he was now on his 
way to pass a few hours with his brother Archibald, whom he had 
not seen for a number of years ; and the old horse, unused to 
such exertions as those to which his reverend rider, on this 
occasion, urged him, smoked like a dumpHng recently lifted from 
a crock, by the time he reached the village. 

Hackle Hall, the ancient and odd-looking ediiice, toward 
which Reginald turned his horse's head, on emerging from the 
lane, was the residence of his elder brother. Sir Waldron ; a man 
noted, as the tinker had stated in other words, for being harsh 
and unforgiving to those rural rakes, from whom scarcely any 
village in the kingdom is free. Neither Sir Waldron nor 
Reginald was married ; their younger brother, Archibald, had a 
wife and a large family. Reginald, in addition to his duties as 
the pastor of a neighbouring parish, educated six or eight youths 
of the first families in the county, and Archibald had agreed to 
place his only boy, Waldron, under Reginald's care, for three or 
four years, in compliance with the reverend gentleman's affectionate 
and frequent invitations. He had stolen away from London, 
leaving business, as he said, to take care of itself for a few days/ 
acnd brought young Waldron down with him. Reginald was 
absent on his arrival, at a considerable distance, relative to certain 
afiairs, the arrangement of which he would have postponed, had 
he been made acquainted witii Archibald's intended visit ; but 
die latter had determined, very suddenly, on the journey. On 
taking a mental glance at his affairs one morning, while he was 
discussing a glass of sheny and a sandwich, at Oairaway's, he 
discovered that there was nothing remarkably pressing, in 'the 



THE BACHELOR'S DARLING* 135 

way of business, for some days forward : the funds were elosed ; 
two or three holidays at the public offices occurred in the ensuing 
week ; he had not been out of town, except to fetch his family 
from a watering-place, for years past; he yearned to see his 
brothers, — and sent a ticket-porter to book places by the 
Exeter mail of the same evening. Young Waldron had scarcely 
time to take leave of his mother and sisters; and as to packing 
up hui clothes, Mrs. Hackle declared such an exploit to be impos- 
sible. '< Then what the devil is there in these, my love ?" said 
Archibald, pointing to two trunks, a portmanteau, a caipet-bag, 
a bundle, and a hat-box, which lay before him. Mrs. Hackle 
replied, that they merely contained a change of linen, or tOy and 
a few immediate necessaries for himself and his son. '' Then, J 
siq»po8e," said he^ ** Waldron may expect the main body of his 
^*gg^^ by the broad-wheeled waggon." 

Partings and meetings between relatives are seldom of any 
interest except to those immediately concerned in them : we shall 
not, therefore, indulge in a description of what took place at the 
departure of Archibald and his son from Mrs. and the six Misses 
Hackle, nor of what Reginald said to Archibald, or Archibald 
said to Reginald, during the first ten minutes of their interview 
at Hackle Hall. We rather prefer relating the conversation of 
the three brothers after they had made a tolerable lunch on a cold 
pigeon-pie and two quarts of very respectable ale. 

*' Well, brother Archibald," said the reverend gentleman as 
soon as the tray was removed, "and, pray, what aspect does your 
native place wear to your eye, since your long absence firom it? — 
Bat you were so young when you quitted it, for a dismal, smoky^ 
London-merchant's 'counting-house, that I suppose all recollection 
of it must have escaped your memory." 

** That's the positive truth," replied Archibald ; " if I had 
remembered the place and its people ; if the least remnant of a 
sample had cleaved to me, not even the pleasure of seeing you 
and Waldron, would have induced me to have quitted the metro- 
polis to pay it a visit" 

" You amaze me !" exclaimed Reginald ; " the hospitality — '* 

** Oh ! I've had enou^ of hospitality, believe me ; and so 
had Crulliver, in the arms of the Brobd^ag monkey, who ran 
away with him, and poked pounds of nauseous chewed food out 
of its own jaws into his; people are sometimes offensively, cruelly 
hospitable. Here^ now, £br instance, was I taken yesterday, by 



136 TU£ SACHSIiO&'« DARLING* 

my brother, for a treat — ^mark me— to dine with one Jehoshaphat 
Higg*-" 

"Aknost the sole remaining specimen," intezrupted Sir 
Waldron, " of the fine, old-English, West-country yeomen;—* race,, 
alas I now nearly extinct I honour the man : he farms his own 
land; sends his sons to the plough; his daughters to the q^inning- 
wheel, and his wife to the chum. He keeps up all the good old 
customs of the country; raises the mistletoe on his beam at 
Christmas, and dancea round the May-pole, with his buxom dana^ 
at seventy, as gay at heart, though not as light of limb, as he did 
at twenty : I repeat, that I honour such men." 

''Honour them as much as you pleaae, Waldron," replied 
Archibald; " honour them, and welcome; but, I beseech you, do 
not entrap me to honour another of |;hem, — ^if, indeed, there be such 
another blade as old Jehoshaphat, hereabout8,-^with any more 
visits. First, brother Reginald, conceive the misery, if you can, 
of dining in a room, falsely designated a parlour, with a sanded 
floor I My teeth were set on edge every time I moved a foot." 

" Ay, but, brother, provided the table be Well covered," ob- 
served Reginald, "one mighty methinks, even put up with a clean, 
dry, sanded floor." 

"Ay, ay, keep him to that, Reginald," said Sir Waldron; 
" the table was, indeed, well covered. I have not dined so well 
these tliree weeks. We had a full course of downright thorough- 
bred old-English dishes; — Devonshire dainties of the first water; 
such as that transcendant lyrist, Robert Herrick, himself, when he 
dwelt in this country, doubtless, occasionally feasted on; compared 
with which, yoiu: modem kickshaws, your town messes, and 
hashes, and fricassees, and starved turtle, brother Archibald, are 
as cha£^ compared with its own grain. You shall judge, Reginald: 
among other things, there was a remarkably fine-flavoured muggot- 
pie ; — a dish, of which, I find, by an old manuscrij^ in our library, 
that the talented and virtuous Raleigh, was remarkably fond, 
and moreover partook, three days previously to his execution." 

** In my opinion," said Archibald, " a man who would be fool 
enough to prefer muggot-pie to — " 

" It's fine eating, ArcWbald," quoth Sir Waldron; "would that 
you had tasted it! — and Sir Walter was a great man; — fine 
eating, on the honour of a gentleman." 

"What! calves' tripe baked in a pie, fine eating !" said Archi- 
bald ; " if this be the result of your dwelling in Devonshire—" 



THE bachelor's dakliko. 137 

^ I lierer was out of it but thrice in my life," said Sir 
Waldron ; " and each time I had cause to repent of my folly.— 
But, to waive the muggot — iiad we not, also, parsley-pie ? — " 

^ Made, as its name implies, of the herb that's used for 
garnish!" 

« Squab-pie—" 

" A horrible mixtore of mutton-chops, apples, onions, and fat 
bacon f — Most abominable! — the stench was enough to have 
defeated an army of cirilized beings. In fact, the dinner given 
by Peregrine Pickle's friend, the physician, in imitation of the 
ancients — " 

'*The ancients fed well," observed Reginald ; ** Heliogabalus — " 

^Was a nincompoop to Queen Elizabeth's cook," added Sir 
Waldron, rather warmly ; ** whose mistress was served with fine 
natural meat and drink — " 

** Such as muggot, squab, and parsley-pies, I suppose," quoth 
Archibald. 

"The appetites of the Romans," continued Sir Waldron, 
''were, in latter times, depraved; and so is my brother Archibald's. 
Smollett very justly ridicules the feasts of the ancients, in that 
passage of Peregrine Pickle, where — " 

^'Really, brother Waldron," interrupted Reginald, while a 
slight blush tinged his cheek, " I must entreat of you to pass on 
to some other subject; you know we never agree on this: if I have 
a failing — if, said I? — I meant, that, among my numerous fiulings, 
that of being slightly irritable, when the glorious masters of the 
world are attacked, by one who cannot appreciate them, is, I am 
sorry to say, very conspicuous." 

" Exceedingly so, Reginald," replied Sir Waldron ; " and if I 
have a virtue in liie world — I beg pardon — among my numerous 
virtues, that of standing forth, manfully, for the customs of old 
England, and defending its literature against any man who pre- 
sumes to set up the cold, classical, marbly staff of the Greeks or 
Romans, in preference, is, certainly, I am proud to say, most 
paramount." 

*^Pindarum quisquis stndet emulari, brother Waldron," ex- 
chdmed Reginald; but he was cut short, in his intended quotation, 
by Archibald, who said, '' And if I phune myself on any merit 
of mine,— except, from my boyhood, always having balanced to 
a- fraction, — ^it is on that of preferring a good carpet to a sanded 
floor; a Hoby's boot to a hob-shoe; a tooth by Ruspini, to fill 

K 



136 THE bachelor's darlikg. 

up a gap oiade by time, to no tooth at all ; a calf by Sheldrake, 
to make my left matoh with my right,, to an odd pair o£ legs ; 
a good dinner of fish, flesh, and fowl, at CuflT's, or the Albion, 
or in my own dining-room^ to muggot, parsley,, or squab pies, 
in Devonshire; a glass of claret to poor pinch-throat cider; 
punch to such filthy messes as buttered ale (hot ale with si^ar, 
butter and rum !) or meat^-dfmky (ale made thick with floiir !) ; 
and the company of two or three intelligent men oyer a bottle or a 
bowl, to all the lEamous authors, from Homer downwards, Greek, 
Romaic and Knglish ; not one of whose works I ever found half 
so useful as the Tables of Interest^ Patterson's Roads, or the 
London Directory." 

This speech by no means raised Archibald in the estimation 
of either of his brothers* Sir Waldroa thrust his hands deep 
into his pockets, and began whistling " Lillibullero." Reginald 
sighed, and said to the man of business, in rather a dole&l tone, 
" But, surely, brother, you have not forgotten your Horace ; 
we were class-fellows together; you cannot be blind to the 
beauties of those illustrious names — " 

" Chaucer, Sidney, Spencer," — said Sir Waldron. 

" Euripides, Sophocles," — quoth Reginald. 

'< Fori^ Decker, M^low," thus the bfurojiet proceeded; 
" Fletcher, Jonson, — " 

" Ha, ha I" ezcUumed Archibald ; " a list of very good 
people in their day, no doubt ; — indeed, they were clever, for I 
know it ; — ^but there's, not one of the names you have mentioned 
would make a bill five farthings the better in Lombard Street." 

" But don't you ever read, brother Archibald ?" asked the 
reverend gentleman, very eatQestly. 

'' Ay," said Sir Waldron; " don't you sometimes take down 
a book to amuse yourself?" 

" Oh I yes ; very often," was .the reply. 

" Greek or Roman ?"— 

" Shakespeare, Donne, Randolph,— ^r what book, brother 
Archy ?" 

" My ledger, or bill-book, brother Waldron," replied Archi- 
bald. His two brothers, on hearing this, immediately rose from 
their chairs, and walked to diflbrent ends of the room. '^ You 
may talk of interest, and pathos, and so forth^" continued . Archi- 
bald, " as much as you please, but, egad ! I find more pathos 
in that folio of my ledger, where Grumpton, Brothers, and Cross 



Ttfs bachelor's darlino. 139 

aire debited items, to the time of seven thousand pounds (speaking 
roundly), and their assignees credited with a' dividend of seven- 
pence-ha]Q>enny in the pound, than ever I did in all the works 
you have mentioned. The account of Crumpton, Brothers, and 
Cross is real ; invoices and delivery-receipts may be produced to 
establish all the items : but the tides of your poets are generally 
altogether, <md alyrays in part^ fictitious, like the begging letters 
which the Mendicity people expose. Now, I can't see, for the 
soul of me, why men i& their senses can ever be such asses as to 
invent and write tales of sorrow ; as if there wasn't enough of 
btmd fide grief in the world already :^-or hoW, to go further, 
people can read, and sufier diemselves to be afibcted by such 
woeful stories, when they have trouble* enough of their own to 
cry over; and, moreover, when they know that what they are 
perusing with aching hearts, is a farrago of lies : — ^and, egad ! the 
greater the lie, it seems, the greater thfe merit ; — ^lying, in this 
way, is called imagination. Why, sir, if any given author of 
eminence, were to tell half as many falsehoods in person as he 
does in print, upon my honour and' credil^ if he wasn't reckoned 
a fo(d, he'd certainly get kicked out of' eveiy house in the metro- 
p(^, — ^at least all those I visit." 

" Brother, brother V* exclaimed Sir Waldron, '' I cannot listen 
to this folly." 

" Nor I; indeed, I cannot;" sud Reginald. " But, perhaps, my 
brother Archy preferreth the authors xjlt modem days, and they 
delight him to the exclusion of the fine old spirits of past ages." 

" Not so — ^not so, indeed," replied Archibfdd; " they are all the 
same to Archibald Hackle. I would rather have a good dinner 
than the finest feast of reason' that ever enthusiast described. 
I prefer a roasting pig to Bacon ; a Colchester oyster to Milton ; 
a cut of the pope's^ye to Pope's Homer; an apple-tart to- 
Crabbe ; Birch's real tbitle to Ovid's Art of Love ; and a roasted 
potato to Muiphy. While others embark in man-of-war, frigate, 
merchantman, heavy Dutch lugger, hoy, yacht, bum-boat, gon- 
dola, canoe, frmny, or other craft, for the wide ocean of literature — 
let me enjoy myself in port. I would, any day, barter a volume 
of Sheridan for a bottle of Dan sherry ;— ^a second quarto for 
tKe first pottle of strawberries, or a book l^ — " 

" Brother Archibald, pr'ythee do not nm on at this rate," 
interrupted SirWaldron; "you, surely, are not so lost to all' 
intellectual delights as you pretend; you cannot be always 

k2 



140 THS BACH£X.OR*S DAALIBTO* 

employed at your business or your bottle; — ^to say the least, you 
must hare some time to kilL" 

" Kill ! kill time ! — ^Oh, dear I no," replied Archibald; " you 
know nothing about the matter. Time travels too fast by half to 
please me ; — I should like to clip the did acoundrdi's pinions. 
The complaints which I have heard, occasionally, of time passing 
away so slowly, ennui, and what not, are to me miraculous. Time 
seems to travel at such a deuce of a rate, that there's no keeping 
pace with him. The days are too short by hal^ so are the nights; 
so are the weeks, the months, and the years. I can scarcely get 
to bed before it's time to get up ; and I haven't been up but a 
little time, apparently, before it's time to go to bed. I can but 
barely peep at the Gazette, or any matter of similar interest in 
the papers, and swallow an anchovy-sandwich, and a couple of 
cups of coffee, when it's time to be at the 'counting4iou8e. By 
the time I have read the letters and given a few directions, it's 
time to be in a hundred places ;— before I can reach the last of. 
them, it's time to be on 'Change ;•*-! don't speak to half the peoplo 
there, to whom I have something to say, belbre it's time to reply 
to correspondents ; and my letters are scarcely written before it's, 
post and dinner time. Farewell business ! — ^but then there's no 
time for enjoyment: dinner, wine^ cofiee, supper, and punchy foUow 
in such rapid succes8ion,^-actually treading on each over's heels, 
— that there's no time to be comfortable at either of them. It's 
the same in bed ; — a man must sleep fast, o^ time will get the 
start of him, and business be behind>hand an hour or two^ and 
everything in disorder next morning. — If I accept a bill for a 
couple of months, it's due before I can well whistle : my ware^ 
house rents are enormous; and, upon my conscience, Lady-day and 
her three sisters introduce themselves to my notice, at intervals 
so barely perceptible, that the skirt of one of the old harridans' 
garments has scarcely disappeared, before in flounces another. 
It's just as bad with the fire-insurances, and a thousand other 
things, — ^little matters as well as great : a man pan scarcely pick 
his teeth before he's hungry again. The seasons are drawn bjy 
race-horses ; my family has barely settled at home after a trip to 
Buxton, Brussels, or elsewhere, befwe summer comes round, and 
Mrs. H. pines for fresh air and an excursion checque again. I caa 
scarcely recover the drain made on my current capital, by por- 
tioning one daughter, before another shoots up from a child to 9k 
iproman; and Jack This or Tom T'other's father wants to know if 



TB£ bachelor's DARLIMO. 141 

I meim to give ber the same as her sister. It's wonderful how 
a man gets through so much in die short space of life ; he must 
be prepared for everything, when, egad! there's no time for 
anything." 

** Cain this really be the &ct f inquired Reginald, incre* 
dnlously. 

<' I give yon my word and honour it is." 

** Bat," said Sir Waldron, ** yon have aetually complained 
to me^ this moniii^, bow the past week has * dragged its slow 
length along' with you." 

" To be sure it has," replied Archibald; '* because I'm here— 
where I've nothing to do— and nothing to eat." 

^^ Nothing to eat,* Archibald Hackle!" exclaimed Sir Waldron, 
drawing himself up with an expression of offended dignity; 
** Hackle Hall, sir, is almost an open house, even to the way- 
farer ; — you tare ome of its sons. I trust I have supported the 
honour of our ancestors while it has been in my keeping ; — ^if you 
thhtk otherwise, bro&er Arx^hibald, and can shew that I have not 
deported myself as beeometh the head of the family, although 
you are my younger brothei^, I lie open to your most severe 



censure." 



** My dear feBow," said Archibald, in a familiar manner, that 
Sir Waldron deemed altogether unsuitable to the circumstances 
of the moment, '* my dear fellow, I don't care a pepper-pod about 
the honour of our ancestors." 

" Not for the honour of our aiwesftois, brother Archibald !" 
exclaimed Reginald, raising his eye-brows, and laying considerable 
emphasis on every word, so as to make himself dearly under- 
stood. 

« Ay, sir!" said Sir Waldron sternly; **not for the honour 
of our house, eh V* 

** Not a pepper-pod !" replied Archibald, coolly. " I have 
other things to trouble me: — ^I care more about the house of 
Van Bummel and Crootz of Amsterdam honouring its bOls; 
except, inde^ that this house is your property, Waldron ; — ^but I 
suppose, of course, it's insured; — ^yoii couldn't be such a fool as not 
to insure it; — ^and therefore, perhaps, the sooner it's burned down 
Hie better, if it wasn't for the loss to the company ; for, to speak 
&e tnlthj it's one of the ugliest edifice's I ever had the honour of 
beholding. I dare say it was weU enough a few centuries back ; 
but it has been so patched, and with so litde attention to orders 



142 THX BACIi£I.O&*S PAai.I1T0, 

that it lookB as bad as a beggar's coat It's a coioppund of the 
tastes of every half century for these four hundred years .past, 
and harmonizes remarkably well, brothers, with the range of our 
ancestors' portraits in the gallery : — there they are, bow-legs and 
bandy-legs, fat old fellQvs in ^owmg wigs, who remind one of 
porters at a masquerade^ and brawny ruffians in armoiur, whio^ 
looks would half hang jbhem, without other .evidc^oe, in any court 
in>the kingdom: — Biound*head8, cavaHers, churobmen, and knights 
of the shire ; — ^mitres and helmets, codbed hats and cones, with 
women to match, for each generation; — tagncsg and bob-tai^ pell- 
mell, higgledy-piggledyyT-in all styles, costumes, forms and 
fashions!" 

'* Those portraits^ sir," exclaimed Sir Waldroo^ "are invalu- 
able — ^invaluable, sir 4" 

" They wouldn't fetch a pound a-piece, one with another, by 
auction," replied Archibald: '* the collecti^o. is just like the 
house itself ; to which eaeh generation seems to Jiiave added its 
quota, more in accordance with the fashion of the day, than the 
character of the building. What remains of the origUi,al masoniy 
reminds me of an old iron chest; a,nd the affair altogether, with 
its turrets and chimneys sticking up, of various sizes and form^ 
resembles nothing in the wo^d (ei^ccept its gallery of portraits) but 
an old cruet-stand, furnished yrifh odd bottles. The squat, rounds 
flat-headed west turret, with t^e flag-staff without a flag, over- 
hanging one side of it, resembles a tenpenny mnstard-pot ; the 
little trumpery dome that sta^s^s ^ at the east, a pepper-castor ; 
the tall chimney, almost in the centre^ the neck of a slender 
vinegar-cruet; the — " 

" 'Sdeath ! brother Reginald," interrupted Sir Waldron; " 91^ 
we to bear this ?" 

*' No — ^really, I think Archibald is going to lengths which arp 
not decidedly to his credit," sai^ Reginald* 

*' I would take leave to tell him,^" continued Sir Waldron, ''if 
he were not imder my roof, and in the honourable J^use of his 
ancestors, that the expressions he has used are derogatory to his 
elder brother's dignity. I b&ve always endeavoured ^ support 
the name of Hackle, in the county, in its proper rank : I am 
proud to say, there is not a blot in my escutch,eon; I ^link I may 
almost vie with my brother Reginald, in moral deportment; I 
watch myself with the most scrupulous exactitude ; I consider the 
^ame as a special trust confided to me for life, and I strive t^ 



maintain it pure and imsullied for the next possessor : I mortify 
myself oat of respect to the hotise of which I am — I trust, not 
nnvortSifly, — the head. Hospitality in HacUe Hall, is not a mere 
word — 

' ''Ko, indeed," said Archibald; ''here is plenty to eat and 
drink, but nodiing eatable or drinkable. In matters appertaining 
to liie table, you are a century and a half behind us in town. I 
can no more live upon your cKshes than I could wear my grand* 
father's breeches, or old Sir Geoffiry's greayes for gaiters. You 
keep up a custom of dining at two o'clock, — and I don't care a 
farthing for dinner till five, at the very earliest moment The 
post of honour in the parlour, at breakfast-time, is occupied by a 
huge, blear-eyed, irascible, old stag-hound, instead of an agree- 
able woman ; and there he lies, dreaming of following tiie stag, 
where she ought to be sitting, all smiles and sweetness, asking a 
maa if he'd take half a cup more. But night is Worse than all ; 
it^so awfully silent, &at I can't sleep! — In fact, brother Waldron, 
aMiough you have done all in your power to make me comfortable, 
— to vpetAi the plain truth, — when the novelty of the thing wore 
ofS, when there was nothing more left to laugh at, — in other 
words, within twenty-four hours after my arrival, I began to sigh 
for a hmch at the 'counting-house, sent in hot from the Cock in 
Threadneedle Street, and a draught of London porter, again. I 
fed as though I was in a strange country; I can't understand 
two-tlnrds of what the people say. With the assistance of my 
man, — whom I brought down, not out of ostentation, but because 
I can't shave myself and entertain a mortal fear of a country 
barber, — •! have to-day discovered, that meat, in the dialect of 
these parts, means bread, butter, and almost everything eatable 
but meat; and meat they call flesh ! — He had a quarrel with a 
toner's son, last night, who threatened to ' scat him down upon 
the planchin;' and shortly afterwards tripped up his heels: so that, 
thank heaven ! if any one, while I remain here, threatens to scat 
me down upon the planchin, I shall know, that nothing but my 
legs dan save me from being transferred from a perpendicular to 
a horizontal position. He tells me, too, that you make broth of 
hot water poured upon chopped leeks and bits of mutton-suet, — 
and diat, in this country, broth is plural ; — that they ask you to 
have a few, instead of some ; and tempt you to take some, by 
Towing, that they — that is, the broth^or* cruel good. — Item, that 
when th«» d bVws dust in your eyes, the bumpkins exclaim, 



144 THE BACHEI0R*S DARLXKO. 

* How the peHam blaeth!' and that, upon one fellow being «kid' 
what he meant by *pellam,' he replied, 'Muck adrouth.' 'And 
what's muck adrouth f said the stranger. * Why, pellam, to be 
zure/ replied the bumpkin; and this was all that could be elicited 
from him, in explanation. If I happen to mention anything 
metropolitan, which, in their sublime stupidity, they either do not 
comprehend or believe, they say, widi roguish and provokiag 
gravity, 'Ahem! quo' Dick Bates!' and then, if I tnaniiMt a 
little display of venial irritability at their ignorance, they tell lae, 
that I'm 'all of a ruck, like Zekiel Hodder's boot!' — ^Now, who 
the deuce Dick Bates or Zekiel Hodder may be, I can't learn. I 
was (^ered my choice of three apples, yesterday, and the man who 
held them, instead of asking me which I would have, this, that, 
or the other, said something like what I am about to attempt ^— 

* Well, 'zquire, which 'ull 'ee ha*,— ^hic, thac, or thuc V Some of 
the old people, positively, banish 'she ' and ' I * from their disooune^ 
using 'her' for the former, like the Weldh, and the kingly phival, 
for the latter; always, nevertheless, substituting the accusative 
for the nominative case; as, for instance: — ^your housekeeper. 
Sir Waldron, speaking of the housemaid, said to me, to-day, 
'Us ha' told her, scaures and scaures o' times, to take up hot water 
to 'ee, at eight o'clock ; but her never heeds, not her, then, vor- 
sooth ! her thinks zo much o' gallivanting wi' the men-volks ! — 
her's no good, bless 'ee ! not a ha'p'orth !' That old housekeeper 
of yours, — ^by-the-by, — Waldron, is a grievous nuisance to me ; 
she comes and talks to me daily by the hour. I can't endure 
the woman." 

" My servant annoy you, brother Archibald I — I'm sorry you 
did not mention this before." 

I* It seems strange to me," said Reginald, " that Archibald 
did not give her an admonition, when she first grew troublesome, 
and so get rid of her." 

" Get rid of her!" exclaimed Archibald. "Sir, you may as 
well talk of tying a tin-kettle to the tail of a comet!*— tiie thing's 
impossible. Last night, she spent fiill half an hour imploring me 
to suffer her to close the shutters and pb up the curtains oi the 
east window of my bed-room, to prevent the rays firom my caikQe 
shooting across the park-path outside; which rays, as she protests^ 
impede our grandfather's ghost very much, in his nightly rambles: 
it seems, that he frequently walks down that path; but as a 
Devonshire ghost cannot cross a ray of light from a candle, the 



TUB BACHXIOE'8 dablivo. 145 

g»od old gentlmnaii ui compelled to go round, or kick hit heels in 
tbe cold until I get into bed. One of your tenants, brother 
Waldron, told me, with a very grave face, that he has often met 
oux grandfather^ in the middle of the night, with old Geoffiy his 
huntsman, and a whole pack of hounds, hunting a stag at iiill 
speed ; that he has actually opened the gates for the old man and 
his ghostly pack to pass through, and that, although 'squire, 
huatsman, dogs, and stag, are without heads, he recognizes, and 
honours them I Why, the man must be either a natural idiot, or 
tvayeUing fiut toward lunacy ; and yet he's accounted a positive 
Sir (kade, in these parts. It is said, our ancestor is seen in all 
forms, by various persons, at different parts of the village : one 
scoundrel has had the impudence to tell me, that he met him one 
night ia Blackpool-lane, in the form of a woolpack ! and that he 
gave him a cut with has whip, as he rolled at full speed along the 
road I Now, admitting tiiat ghosts walk or run, how he could 
know Sir Jonatiian, in the shape of a woolpack, is to me, a 
aia«cle :-^^t, so it was— -he knew him ; hell swear to it ; and 
may I be posted at Lloyd's, if the villagers don't believe him. But 
I'd forgive them almost everything if they'd let the chiurch-bells 
alone, and wouJLdn't roar choruses : evexy evening, between six 
and eight, some o£ the brawny vagabonds go to practise triple- 
bob^majors, or grandsire-trebles, in the belfry ; — thus agonizing my 
ears with the most atrocious music that ever was inflicted on suf- 
fering man : to mend the matter, I've a natural antipathy to all 
bells except the waita^'s and the postman's. It occurs very 
unluckily for me, that I should arrive among you in a week of 
msnyHnddng, ending with a revel; and go where I will, my ears 
are assailed by excruciating songs, all of which, without exception, 
have some terrific chorus tacked to the tail of each verse, which 
the rogues b^ow in such a way, that I'm often obliged to take to 
my heels in mere self-defence. The song which just now seems 
to be most feshionable in, the village, I have heard so often, that, 
much against my melination, I know every word of it ; I feel it 
humming in my brain when I awake in the morning, and my 
watch ticks it when I go to bed at night, I will be judged by any 
reasonable man, if the eternal affliction of such words and sounds 
as I^KMO which I am about to utter, vociferated by Stentorian 
Kmgs, is not enough to drive a decent being, with a nice ear and 
moderate taste, mad :-~you shall hear." 

*^ Pray, don't trouble yourself brother," said Reginald. 



146 THB BACHELORS J>A&LIKO. 

" Nay, but wkh yonrlesve, I inaist upon giving you a ipeoi- 
men : match it for Bexue, in all Europei if yon can :-^ 

* My VBther a' died, but a' didn't know how, 
A' left I zix hossees to vollor tha plough ; 
VfV lay wim, worn, woddle, oh ! 
Jack, strim, stroddk, oh. I 
Bubble, boys ! bubble, boys'! 
Down by tha brook!'** 

" Enough, enough, brother," said Reginald : " I lament that 
you should be so dissatisfied with your visit" 

" Not at all, sir; I'm not at all dissatisfied. I'm perfectly satis- 
fied with it : it has cured me oi a mania I've had all my hie of 
enjoying rural felicity, and Devonshire, my hirth-place, in my 
old age : I've seen quite enough of it to make me put up with 
London or Clapham Common, and rest contented. — ^Besides, I've 
seen you and Waldron; — God Idess you both, my boys! — I shall 
be glad if you will run up to town now and then : — ^I leave my 
boy to your care, Reginald ; — and to-morrow I start." 

The two brothers now approached Archibald, and most afifeo- 
tionately entreated him to prolong his stay with them; and 
Reginald had just extorted a promise from him to go to the 
vicarage for two or three days, when a servant entered the room, 
and stated, that Constables Quality and Batter had brought in 
some prisoners to be examined before his worship. Sir Waldron 
desired that they might be taken into his study; and said, that he 
would descend in a few minutes; but before the servant had 
quitted the room, Archibald begged that they might be brought 
up, so as to offer him an opportunity c^ witnessing, what he called, 
"a bit of bumpkin police," which he had not hitherto taken an 
bpportmiity of enjoying. Sir Waldron acquiesced, and ordered 
the servant to send up the constables, with their prisoners. 

"You will neither be amused, interested, nor edified, I suspect," 
said Sir Waldron, to Archibald, " by the scene that is about to 
take place; it is, doubtless, some trifling, ridiculous affair: the 
constables are two of the most arrant blockheads that ever a ma<* 
gistrate was afflicted with: — as to Onesiphorus Quality, one might 
as well attempt to elicit evidence out of a mallet, as from him : 
I assure you, my patience and my temper are often put to the 
test, by his stupid taciturnity." 

As the baronet concluded, the huge form, and meek, beardless 



TBS aa^IIE&OB'S 9AJIIUM4. 147 



fiioe of CoQfltaUe QnaMly lunutK vpjpeanA at Ike door*way, 
lufaering in four prisonen, who were closely followed by a man of 
a middling aize, with shaip featurei^ a large mouth, piercing cat's 
eyes, and limbs which were puny, compared with those of the 
gigantic, dull-looking Quality. The person we have described as 
bringing up the rear, was Constable Batter: the prisoners were our 
old friends, the pedlar, the tinker, Darby Doherty, and the little 
girL The pedlar placed his pack very carefully on the ground, 
the little girl stood up behind it, and the three men ranged them- 
setves in a line, with Quality, on one ude, and Batter, on the other, 
in front of the table at which the brotiien were now seated. 

"What is the ehaige made against these people, Quality?" 
in^piiped Sir Waldron. 

*^ Well, — then," rej^ed Quality, ''for that matter, — your woff» 
shqpy-'-you must ask Batter." 

" I ha' nought to say,-*-aought in the worlds" exclaimed 
Batter ; " but they Ve oddish bodies — ^I must say that ibr Quality. 
He apprehended and I assisted {-•-fiot a tUng more." 

** Your worships" aaid Quality, with a most piteous coun- 
tenance;-*-^' your winsfaip knaw!s better:—*! Bever apprehends 
nobody.'* 

" That'a true enough* Coastable Quality, I must needs coa- 
km," observed Sir Waldnm. 

'' I thank your worship, kindly, fi>r your good word," quoth 
Qoslity. 

'< Oh ! do not be such an idiot as to take what I have said as 
a eoiB|dimeiit. The fSact is, Quality, you want either heart or wit 
enough to capture a fly ; Batt^, luckily for the Hundred, sins a 
litde fm the opposite side to you, Ones^horus: all is £ah tha^ 
comes near his net ; for one real offender, he brings at least fifty 
iimoeent pci^le before me. To say the truth, I do not believe 
another brace of such ignorant blockheads have flourished in one 
parish, since the days of Dogberry and Verges. Batter, I am 
sure yev have taken these people : — ^what have th^ done I To 
begin with this good man, who has the appearance of a pedlar ; — 
what do either of you know of him ?" 

''Why," said Quality, with a shake of the head and an odd 
sort of frown which he intended to be very significant ; " why, 
your worship, I can't say that I know any good of him." 

"Tou utterly incomparable ninny, do you know any evil 
of him r 



148 THE BACHSL0E8 DAKLIKO, 

" For that matter/' quoth Quality, to the baronet, '' I reftr to 
Batter." 

Batter drew up his chin and replied to this appeal, ** I say 
nothing, your worship ; but — a — that is to say — " 

'* Go to the devil !" cried the enraged magistrate ; " this ia 
what I have to go through, daily, brother Reginald." 

« Ay, but, brother Waldron— " ' 

"I know, I know!" exclaimed Sir Waldron, interrupting 
Reginald ; '' I know what you are going to say ; but my patience 
has been long exhausted with these boobies. — What did you bring 
the men before me for t" shouted the magistrate in a thundering 
tone. 

" Well, then, yotu: worship," said Quality, no whit moved, 
« ask Batter." 

Batter, with great gravity, declined the honour, and protested 
against taking precedence of his senior, Onesiphorus Quality; 
who, he vowed, had bestirred himself as principal in the affair, 
and laudably exerted himself to the utmost extent of his mental 
and bodily powers, to bring the delinquents before his worship. 

While the worthy constable was making a speech to the fore- 
going effect, Sir Waldron sat tilting his chair on its hind legs, 
shaking his head up and down with great velocity, beating the 
devil's tatoo with the fingers of his right-hand on the back of his 
left, and gazing at his pale and placid brother Reginald with an 
expression of countenance, which the latter understood as meaning 
" Now you hear! could Job himself bear this, brother?" That 
was, in truth, what Sir Waldron intended to convey to Reginald 
by his looks ; and when Batter concluded, he rose from his chair, 
and with a stride, which might be pronounced emphatic, moved 
towards the window, turning his back upon the constables and 
prisoners, apparently determined to leave the settlement of the 
affair to Reginald himself. The citizen brother had highly en- 
joyed the whole scene, and while Waldron was walking away, 
observed to Reginald, that Batter and Quality differed essentially 
from the police of the metropolis, who, if they had a fault, — ^and 
this he professed, with a roguish sneer, to say under correction,— 
it was the immei^se crop of evidence which they were generally 
prepared to yield. 

Let it not be imagined, that during the preceding dialogue, 
Mr. Jeremiah — or as he chose to designate himself by the 
diminutive, — Darby Doherty remained voluntarily silent. He 



THS BAC^JELOH'S DAELINO. 149 

frequently attempted to address the magistrate ; but Quality^ wbo 
was not only silent himself, but the cause of silence in others, as 
soon as Darby opened his mouth, covered the aperture with his 
broad hard palm, and safely barricadoed the portals of speech* 
Darby^ with his wooden leg, trod on Quality's corns; and Quality, 
notwithstanding the anguish he suffered^ replied only by a ter- 
rific nudge with his staff in Doherty's ribs, which was imper- 
ceptible to all present but the receiver. Quality was very 
generous with his nudges to prisoners who were at all refractory, 
and attempted to break silence in his worship's presence : much 
to the indignation of Sir Waldron, who often wondered where he 
could have picked up the word, Quality denominated these 
nudges, *' apothegms." 

The Reverend Reginald Hackle now took up the exami- 
nation, and, with some difficulty, discovered that the prisoners had 
quanrelled at the fair, sought out the constables, and insisted 
upon going before a magistrate. ** Upon this," quoth Batter, " we 
to<^ them into custody. The child," added he, ** seemed as glad 
to come as anybody ; — so, what to make of it, I^ for one, don't 
know.— -Perhaps I've suspicions they've picked up the girl^ and 
are quarrelling between themselves about her clothes, and orna- 
mental valuables; — that, however, I shaU keep to myself. — I have 
searched the prisoners separately. The pedlar's pack contains 
ribbons of various patterns and lengths ; human hair of ditto 
ditto ; silk and imitation handkerchiefs, bits of lace, and cetera, 
and so forth ; a large pair of shears, a pocket-bible much worn, 
and three red herrings." 

** More red herrings !" exclaimed Darby, emancipating him* 
self by a sudden movement from the gripe of Quality, and ad- 
vancing to a position whence he could look the pedlar full in the 
fiace; <* three more red herrings ! Well, after that I've done, 
any how 1" . 

** Next," continued Bat|;er, who had now grown rather com- 
municative, ** I searched the Irishman." 

*'And how dared you do so?" exclaimed Sir Waldron, striding 
from the window with as great energy as he had strode toward 
it; " how dared you do so, dolt? — Irishman, what are you?" 

"I'm an Irishman, your honour!" replied Darby, and Sir 
Waldron strode to the window with greater emphasis of cadence 
than he had strode from it, nuitteriug imprecations as he went. 

" Have you been in the service?" inquired Reginald; " it has 



150 THE bachelor's DAKLIKO. 

pleased Providence to peur gfreat bodily afflktiotis on yon ; — siich 
losses as those of a leg, an exm- — " 

** £' tl»en, yonr honour," intevrupted Dtfby, ^ affliotiOBS Ihey 
are, indeed:— nmy kg lost^a good friend in losmg me; I cut his 
corns for him every week^ and kept him warm in a good wonted 
stocking, and shoes at never less- than seven and sixpence tlie 
pair, since he came of age : but that's not the question^ yotit 
worship's reverenee and gloiry ; but this is: it, — I ask pardon for 
contradicting, — but don't fear,-~>I won't quarrel wid yourwoiditp's 
excellence : — ^Here's three of ns : that's me, the tinkfir,< and the 
man o' the hemngs there— ^tho pedlar; we all wonts tke chdd, 
and no Uame to us, for she's a beauty ;— and having no kiUi or 
kin, that we can find out, nor a soul alive to own bei^^" 

** She escheats," interrupted BattM, ^ as a waif, or an estray, 
in such cases, to the lord of the manor, Sir Waldron^" 

" The lord- of Bally<-no-plaee, and my nose, too>!" said Darby, 
snapping his lingers at Batter ; *^ do you call her cattle f ye 
he-cow, ye! — WeU^ then, your honour's wordiip," continued 
Darby, turning, with a smile on his faoe, towards Reginald, '< as 
we couldn't agree about her, for shs came to us together, and 
we've no great opinion of one another-'-^-that is, I haven't of the 
pedlar or the tinkier, may be ; and it's not unlikely they think 
bad of me,— why shouldn't they?— why then, rather than qoav- 
rel, — which I'm- not one for, though well able, barring my limbs' 
and eye, — ^we tould the middle and both ends of it to dirty 
Butter here.'' 

^' Batter, priscmer, if you please," quoth the ccnstable of thal> 
name. 

" Well, to Batter, be it then; but of all the beasts or con^ 
stables to boot under the moon, he's the most stopid. Well, then,, 
when we couldn't make him undentand our stoty, wo insisted on 
his comprehending us." 

*' And here they are, Sir Waldron," quoth Quality. 

" This is another of y<mr coek-and-bnll. stories^" said the 
Baronet, returning" to his ichoir. <^What have we* to da with 
this? Who is the third party?" 

"The tinker, your worship," obserrod' Quality; ''I snspect 
Batter knows him«" 

** Truly so^" said- Batter ; ** he^ the father of Nancy Warton's 
two children ; you'll ifnd his name on record; it's- written on the 
bonds ; — a confirmed bad one in respect of—" 



THS BA«U£LOa'S haklimo* 161 



'* linker/' Mid Sir Wfddron, aawming a nmt fbrmiddUe 
aspect, ''I now recollect your &oe. Moveover^ I luiTe heatd 
tiiat you have xK>t yel quitted your evil wayi : you had an affair 
of a sittilBr tori to that wUch Satter ipeakaol^ laat month, at tha 
HewJ o na. — ^Fie upon you, nan I Venial ae thia aovt of sin may 
appear to you, to me iisetma moat gvaTe,**-neady mipardooabla. 
Why not tako a wife r 

<< That's jnat what I've aaid to him," obaenred Dohecty ; 
** matrim<a^ is the heat of money, — itfa pare felicity." 

" Are yon married, fellow ?" inquired Sir Waldron, who fell 
by no meaaa pleaaed at die hishnan'a intermption. 

" Is it married, your wonhip ?" r^lwd Darby ; " fiudil then, 
I am, eyeiy inch of me." 

" And where*a your wife f* 

** Why, then, I left her thia meaning daren mika hence." 

" What, yottVe deserted her, eh?" 

** Oh ! qmt$ the contrary ;«— I ran away ftmn her,-^we agreed 
to eome different roads; for, to tell yon die truth. Mistress. 
Doh^rty has a tongne : but that says- nothing ; may be your 
honour's own wife has one too." 

'^ I have no wife, siirah!" 

** WeMf God help you, then! that's, all I say.— Though we 
quarrpfied lastnigh^ I'd be mighty glad to aee Mistress Doherty 
to^lay, — so I would : I wonder die hasn't come. I'll teH you 
how it wasj, and you'll judge who did wroBg.-*-We got a fi'penny 
bed at a roadnnde house ; and when such a case occurs, which 
im't often^ Mistress Dohwty is ail for getting as much as she can 
for her money ; so, if I'd let her, she'd go to bed at eight o'dodk, 
and lie till twelve or one the next day, or make me and the child 
do so: but no, I den't like geing to bed at night over soon then, 
80 I don't,»*^4mt FH lie arbed as long as- one here and there, tha 
next morning ; for then's the time, if one has sooh a thing, when 
a bed's pleasant Well then. Mistress Doherty, haritig some 
pUces to patdb in her coat, bid me go to bed before her, so that 
I might get up early, and tramp to the revel with her, — just as 
Dobbin and Joan would, but I wouldn't ;T*Hieror mind why. Says 
slie-HHiys Mistresa Ddher^, * Go to bed, Dariby, or the child wiU 
be perished with cold; go to bed and warm him. Darby, while I 
pat a patch on my coat ;' but I wouldn't ; aar then she got in her 
tantannns ; I was obstinate, and we qnanalled^" 

** Ay, ay ! I undentandy" aaid the tanker, who had not apdien 



152 THE BACHELOR'S DARLIMO* 

before, ** she wanted to beat you to nest, as the hen-pigeon doiu 
the cock, when he loiters ; it's natural, — yea^ nature all over." 

" Mlienever I quarr^ I fight," pursued Darby ; " and when- 
ever I fight with Mrs. Doherty, she licks me ; I'd scorn to be 
beat by any man breathing ; I'll crow like a bit of game as I am, 
though I've lost half my spurs, but I don't scruple to own, that 
I knock under to my wife : — so we paid what we couldn't well 
afibid for a bed,~~<|uaireUed and fought all night in it, when we 
might have slept happy and contented under a tree ; and the 
next morning, — ^that's this morning, — I tould her, when she 
was dreaming, to come after me to the revel by her own self; 
and so she will, I'll engage my last arm ; for, if we fight, 
Mistress Doherty doats on me." 

'' And who is this child?" inquired Archibald. 

^ Your worship," replied the pedlar ; ** I hae held my peace 
till now, and it is time for me to speak. This wee thing cam' 
to us where we breakfasted; we ken nought about her; she 
wanted to come to this revel, and we hae brought her together. — 
She would hae parted with us, but neither of us would sufiTer her 
to do 80, without letting us know whither she went ; a small broil 
followed, and here we are before ye ; — ^we've done nought but 
what humanity would justify ; — ^tak' the bairn and question her. 
She's in your hands, and I've done with her — saving a blessing — 
Grude protact her I" 

" Oh ! don't think to gallyboozle the justice with your mealy 
mouth," said Darby; " I've no great opinion of my friend her^ 
your honour ; no, nor of Tom Tinker, this feUow with the black 
face, as I had the honour of telling ye before. Now, if I may 
be allowed to say one word in my defence, — though nobody 
accuses me, nor can, that's more, — ^but if I may speak, I'll just 
say this by way of advice to yoiur worship : — ^make yourself a 
Solomon the second ; cut ofi*the child's hair, take every ha'p'orth 
she has, and then see who'll have her : it isn't the tinker, I'U 
engage ; no, nor the pedlar, with his blackguard red herrings." 

" I dinna want the bairn," said the pedlar; ** I hae eleven o' 
my ain; but I'd do to anither mon's child, what I'd expact anither 
mon would do to mine, — ^that is to say — sauf her fra tinklers and 
ne'er-do-weels." 

" Come, come, pedlar, 'ware that," growled the tinker; 
" good words or broken heads, says the old sa3ring." 

'^ Hold your tongue, you reprobate !" exclaimed Sir Waldron. 



THX BACHELOa'S SiABUVO. 15d 

<< Sikaee !" loared Batter in ths tiiikar't en, whiU Quality 
dealt lum an afoHhidgm* 

" Wbat jmt want with the child I cannot comprehend," 
cctttittued Sir Waldson ; ** why not take one of those poor things, 
of whom you're the putatiye fither ? that would do you a little 
erodit--Why wiah ibr this little atraager?" 

" Why, your worBhip"-*-The tinker was cut short in his reply 
to the magistrate's question, by Batter ahouting ttlence, and 
(^wlify giving him a nudge. 

<< mockhead !" exclaimed Sir Waldron to Batter ; "am I not 
to have an answer to my qiwstion ? let the man speak, and do 
you behave with common sense, or, by heaven, 111 commit you.— 
Speak, tinker, how do you account for your wishing to take this 
child in preference to your own 2 I must tell you, that it looks 
strange and an^icioos.'* 

" Why," replied the tinker, '< I ha'n't no wish in particular 
about it:-*-to be sure, I took a fancy to her; she hath such a main 
pretty little nob^ and a pearly sort of an eye, just like my best 
almond tumbler pigeon at home — and the poney likes her ; so its 
natural, you aee, your worship: but then, I don't covet her; only 
keep her out of these chaps' clutches, that's- all I say ; except, 
mind me, this :— I wouldn't ofiend your worship for the world ; 
I'd pretfy near die first, — but, look'ee. Sir Waldron, if your con- 
stable pokes I in the ribs again, as he hath twice, I'll just make 
80 free as to break his neck, here right, if I do die for't; — ^it's 
nature you know." 

'< This language is improper ; — ^we must not hear it," observed 
Reginald. 

" How dare you strike the man?" exclaimed Sir Waldron. 

" I merely gave him a hint — " 

" Hold your tongue — ^t the room — or stop— stay— I 'U 
consider whether I ought not to order Batter to take you into 
custody." 

The little girl now ste{^ed from behind the pedlar's pack, 
and advancing close to Sir Waldron, with a smile playing over 
her features, said to the magistratei, " If you please, sir, may I 
speak, now every body's done?" 

'' Certainly, child," replied the baronet; ** what have you to 
lay? — what is your name ?" 

" Agnes, sir." 

^* Agnes whAt^ child ?— what is your other name ?" The 



154 THE bachelor's darling. 

little girl made no reply, but looked alternately at Sir Waldron 
and the prisoners, and the tears gushed from her eyes. 

** What is the meaning of this ?" said the baronet. 

"Perhaps, brother, — ^you know best," observed Reginald; 
— " but perhaps there is some mystery in this matter, something 
that lies deeper than you imagine. The child may be intimi- 
dated from speaking the truth in the presence of those three 
good people." 

" Do you think so ? — Well, then. 111 take her apart into my 
study," replied Sir Waldron ; " come," added he, addressing the 
child, " come with me, Agnes ; do not be frightened." 

" Bless you, I am not frightened," said the child; " I'm very 
glad." 

" Ay, ay, " quoth Reginald, " it is as I suspected, very 
clearly ; Batter and Quality, look well to these honest fellows." 

The prisoners loudly exclaimed against Reginald's suspicions ; 
but Batter, by dint of bawling, and Quality, by the virtue of his 
apothegms, soon restored order, and Agnes followed Sir Waldron 
into the adjoining room. 

" Now, my dear," said the baronet, taking a chair, and draw- 
ing Agnes between his knees, " what have you to say ? Why not 
tell your name before the people in the parlour ? Is either of 
those men related to you ?" 

*' Oh, no ! no, indeed ! I never saw them before to-day." 

" And whose child are you ?" 

" Yours !" replied Agnes, looking archly up at Sir Waldron, 
and placing her little hand on his as she spoke. 

" Pooh ! pooh ! child, don't be foolish," replied Sir Waldron, 
who felt half inclined to be angry, but, at the same time, could not 
prevent his features from relaxing into a smile ; " teU me the 
truth." 

" I have told the truth; indeed and indeed I have." 

" How do you mean, child ?" 

" Why, if you're my papa, you know, I must be your little 
daughter : — musn't I now?" 

" Truly so, child," replied Sir Waldron ; "but as I am not 
your papa — " 

" Oh! but you are, though, "interrupted Agnes; "my mamma 
told me so." 

" Sir Waldron's cheek grew pale ; he stared at the child, and 
remained for a few moments silent; then, assuming a stem 



THE bachzlok's oarliko. 155 

vianner, lie said to Agnes rather sharply, — " I suspect you to be 
a designing, bold, bad child ; or the tool of wretches ; or, at best, 
remarkably impudent Do you know who I am f " 

" Sir Waldron Hackle ; — at least, so I hope," was the child's 
jreply ; — " the men said they were going to bring us before Sir 
Waldron Hackle, — ^and that's you, isn't it? — If not, I've kept my 
promise to my poor mamma finely; — ^but it isn't my fault" 

" What mamma? what promise? Hov you talk, child! — ^what 
promise ?" 

" Not to tell any one who I was, nor to mention my name, 
until I saw my father." 

** And what is your name?'* eagerly inquired Sir Waldron. 
" Oh! you know what it is well enough — don't you ?" 
<* How the devil should I ?" exclaimed the irritated baronet, 
who for a moment forgot that he was speaking to a child. ** How 
should I ?" he repeated, in somewhat a calmer tone. 
" Why, you haven't any more little girls, have you T* 
" Ridiculous ! Tell me your name, instantly !" 
" You won't be angry with me, I hope, for asking you first, 
if you are Sir Waldron Hackle? My mamma so strictly charged 



me — 



"Well, well! I am — I am," replied the baronet; <' I am Sir 
Waldron Hackle—" 

" Ay ; but are you the gentleman that broke . his arm at 
Westbury, and — " 

"Yes, yes? — ^Westbury, said you? — What's this flashes across 
me? it surely cannot be — " 

" Indeed, and it is, though !" 

" Hannah Russell^s child?" 

" Yes ! my mamma's dead ; and I've walked all the way by 
mjrself, and now you won't own me," sobbed little Agnes ; and 
her head dropped upon Sir Waldron's hand, which he immediately 
felt was wetted with her tears. 

"Own you!" said Sir Waldron, scarcely knowing what he 
said. " How can I own you ?" 

" I'm sure I don't know," replied the little girl, raising her 
head, and endeavouring to restrain the sobs which almost rendered 
her unable to articulate ; " you must do as you please about that; 
my mamma sent her dying love — to you, — and she told me to be 
■ore to say that she had done — her duty, and you need not be 
ashamed of me !" 

l2 



156 THE BACHELOR'S DJLSLLISQ. 

Sir Waldron made no reply; but he snatched Agnes tip^ 
pressed her to his bosom, and kissed her repeatedly : he then put 
her at arm's length from him, gazed earnestly on her face, and 
again most affectionately embraced her. 

" Kiss me again, papa," were the first words that litde Agnes 
uttered, after Sir Waldron had placed her on her feet ; but the 
baronet was so absorbed in thought, at that moment, that he did 
not notice what she said. He sat silent and motionless, with the 
child mutely gazing upon him, for above a minute. He then 
started up, wrung his hands together, stamped violently on the 
floor, and walked to the wall of the room, against which he leant 
his forehead. Starting thence in a moment, he returned to his 
seat, exclaiming, " Man ! man ! thou dost truly merit this 
agony !" 

Agnes now approached him, and familiarly, or rather, endear- 
ingly, embracing his arm, said, "Are you very ill, papa? — My 
mamma tied this bit of love-ribbon on the finger where married 
ladies wear their rings, that I shouldn't forget to tell you she 
forgave you with her last breath, and died happy !" 

" May she be in heaven !" exclaimed Sir Waldron. 

"Amen!" responded little Agnes. 

" What to do — ^what to do, I know not," said the baronet, 
rising from his chair again. 

"Won't you own me, papa? — pray do; or I don't know what 
I shall do, after walking so far and all. I wore out my shoes and 
stockings — " 

" Bless thy poor little feet — what a sight is this ! " 

"Won't you own me, papa?" repeated Agnes. 

"I do^I do, child," replied Sir Waldron, kissing her; "but 
I must send you away, — ^how, I cannot tell. — You must not be 
known to be mine : — ^my honour, my reputation ; — ^the character 
I have maintained — S'death ! it drives me mad !" 

" Mayn't I live with you, then ?" said Agnes. 

" It is absolutely impossible." 

" Oh, dear ! Then I suppose I must find out a place where 
grapes grow in a wood, and build a little house, as Robinson 
Crusoe letnd his man Friday did, for I've nobody to help me but 
you, — ^and you won't, you say." 

" I said no such thing : you shall never want ; but here you 
cannot remain." 

" My mamma said I wtu to; — ^but then, she UAd me too, that 



THs bachelor's daklino. 157 

when she was dead and gone, I was to obey you ; and you lay I 
must go, — so I don't know what to do : — I'm very hungry." 

"Hungry! pull the bell — ^but stop— hold — ^my position is moat 
pexplexing. To send the child here I It was cruel — ^but I merit 
it I have brought sorrow on myself, by my own villany.^ — It is 
miraculous how you could have reached me." 

** I walked all the way !" said the child, with a sigh. " My 
little bones ache so, you can't think. — My mamma, when she 
knew she was going to die in a day or two, gave me some money, 
and told me to go to The White Hart, with a little paper of direc- 
tions she folded it up in, for the coachman ; and she said, that he 
would give me something to eat on the road, and carry me within 
three miles of your house : but I wasn't to tell him where I was 
going ; and she told me to carry the paper and money to him the 
day after she was buried. But, — do you know? — ^the people where 
we lodged fouud the paper, and took the money out; and said, I 
diouldn't go unless I told them who I was going to, and why, 
and all about it But I wouldn't, because my mamma charged 
me to tell nobody but Sir Waldron ; — ^that's you, — ^my papa. So 
dien, I said to myseL^ I'd walk, — ^for the place where <he coach- 
man was to leave me didn't seem very far in my sampler : — ^but 
sometimes I thought I should never get here. And I brought my 
samitler with me to find out the way ; but it was all wrong, bless 
you ! there's no red line between Somersetshire and Devonshire, 
like that I worked in the sampler; so I kept on asking my way." 

^My dear little cherub I" exclaimed Sir Waldron; "what 
thou must have endured ! — And where did you sleep?" 

" Oh I the people was hay-making, and I lay down upon the 
nice little hay-cocks ; — ^its no night, hardly, now. — I Hked it at 
first; but I'm stung all over with flies, or something — " 
And did you beg for food ?" 

Oh ! no ! I brought all my pretty money, and spent it in 
gingerbread and apples; — ^not all, — ^for I've two Queen Anne 
shillings, and another bit of money, I don't know what it is, left." 

Agnes, in answer to several other questions put to her by Sir 
Waldron, told him, that she often followed the waggons, and, in 
a very early part of the journey, saw the names of several places 
painted on the boot of a coach, before that one where the coach- 
man was directed, by her mother's paper, to set her down ; that she 
learnt them by heart, and inquired for each, successively : she 
also related the manner of her meeting with the pedlar and fail 






158 THE bachelor's darlikc^. 

companions, and stated, that a woman had told her, just Jyefatt 
she saw them, that there was a revel at the village, to whichi 
she was inquiring the Way. 

Sir Waldron was still undecided as to what he should do with 
Agnes, and sat pondering, with the little girl seated on his knee, 
and warming her feet with one of his hands, when the child sud- 
denly started from him, and exclaimed, ^' Oh, dear! I quite 
forgot the letter !" 

" Letter ! from your mother ?" 

" Yes; the people of the house didn't find out that, when 
they took the money that was in the paper of directions away 
from me. I brought it all the way safe enough in my bosom, 
until this morning." 

" And where is it now?" 

** That naughty constable took it from me. He opened it and 
read it." 

" D — ^t — n !" exclaimed Sir Waldron ; " then all is known, 
and I shall be every booby's jest." 

He had scarcely uttered these words, when the door of the 
room was opened, and The Reverend Reginald Hackle entered, 
with an open note in his hand. He was followed by the citizen : 
Reginald looked more grave than usual ; but Archibald seemed 
with difficulty to restrain himself from laughing :—*^ Waldron," 
said he, " we have just wormed a letter out of Constable Quality." 

The baronet snatched it from Reginald's hand; looked first at 
the superscription, which bore his name and address, and then 
hastily perused the contents. 

"The blockhead's excuse," continued Archibald, "for not 
producing this, which I consider, under correction, a document of 
importance as regards the examination, is, that you cut Batter 
short in his statement of the particulars of his searching the 
prisoners." 

" And is this rightly addressed to you, brother ? Are you 
indeed the man ?" asked Reginald, in a tone of reproach. 

"Well, she's a pretty child; a very pretty child, indeed, 
Waldron," said Archibald, taking the little girl in his arms. 
" Come, kiss your uncle, my dear : I suppose I may call her yours,, 
Waldron." 

" You may : — ^it's useless to dissimulate ; — so preach, brother 
Reginald ; sneer, brother Archy ; jest, joke, and do your worsts 
world ; — she is mine, — my dear, darling child !" 



IRLINO. 159 

Shortly afterwards, Archibald returned tu the priaonera, and, 
addreasiiig Darby Coherty, informed bim that he and bii two 
companionB might go abont their hiuineaa. 

" And the child — " quoth Darby. 

" She will remain with Sir WaJdron," replied Ardiibald. 

" Thank your honour, kindly, for this, as well aa for the cold 
meat, which, of course, your honour ia going to order as to get 
in the boll," Baid Doherty. " Hia worship haa acted upon what, 
I've always been tould, is the true principle of justice; ao I can't 
complain : — he's taken the oyster himself, and," added Darby, 
bowing alternately to the pedlar and the linker at he spoke, 
"sent me packing with the shells." 

Sir Waldron soon became so doatingly fond of little Agnes, 
that, among all his fi7ends, she obtained the appellation of The 
Bachelor's Darling. As she approached towards womanhood, 
the beaaty of her person, and the sweetness of her disposition, 
ntade a strong impresdon on the heart of Archibald's son ; and 
five years had scarcely elapsed after the completion of hia studies . 
under his reverend uncle, when sh^ became hia wife. 

The three brothers lie, side by side, in the church-yard of 
their native village ; and the citizen's son, and Hannah Bussell'a 
child, are now Sir Waldron and Lady Hackle. 



THE LOVES OF 
HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLE, GENTLEMAN. 

About six-and-twenty yean ago, a middle-aged North-ocwintry 
attorney, sopiewhat above five feet eight inches in height, but 
immeasurably corpulent, with an old-fashioned calf, mottled 
eyes, and a handsome nose, settled in a large and unciviliced 
village in the West of England. The manners of the inhabitants 
were rude and outrageous; their names, customs, frolics, and lan- 
guage, were such as Habakkuk Bullwrinkle had never before been 
accustomed unto. They cracked many a heart-piercing joke on 
his portly person ; laughed at his ineffectual attempts to compete 
with the veriest youngsters in the village, at wrestling, or cudgel- 
pla3ring ; rejoiced heartily when he suffered a cracked pate, or an 
unexpected back-fall; and never employed him in the way of his 
profession. He could have borne all his misfortunes with decoicy 
but the last ; — that irked him beyond measure ; and he did not 
scruple to upbraid those who deigned to drink out of his cup, 
with their folly and villanous prejudice, in measuring a man's wit 
by his skill at gymnastics, and exclusively patronizing a couple of 
rascally pettifoggers in the vicinity, whose only merit consisted 
in their hard pates, and dexterity in breaking the skulls of their 
clients. The villagers waited with patience until Habakkuk's 
lecture and strong drink were finished, promised to reform, 
heartily wished him success in his trade, fell to loggerheads on 
their way home, and the next morning went for redress to the 
aforesaid pettifoggers, who fleeced them to their hearts' content 
for several lingering months, and then mutually advised their 
employers to settle the matter over a goodly feast. 

Habakkuk Bullwrinkle inwardly moaned at the luck of his 
fellow-priests of the syren, but lost none of his flesh. His afiairs, 
at length, grew desperate. He had been skipping over the land, 
after the fickle jade Fortune, for many a weary year ; but the 
coy creature continually evaded his eager cluteh. What was to 
be done? — His finances Were drooping, his spirits jaded, his 
temper soiured, and his appetite for the good things of this world. 



HABAKKVK BULLWKINXLS. 161 

as keen and damorous as erer. He had tried every plan his 
imagination could devise to win over the rustics, but without 
effect He was just about to decamp clandestinely, and in 
despair, when, all at once, he recollected that he was a bachelor I 
His hopes rose at the thought ** How strange it is !" said 
he, unconsciously snapping his fingers witli delight, ** that the 
idea of marrying one of these charming rosy*skinned lasses, who 
are continually flitting about me, should never have entered my 
caput before! The whole village is one immense family, — a 
batch of uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, and relations of 
every intermediate degree, from one to a hundred. If I can 
bat weave myself into this web of consanguinity, my future 
ease and fortune are certain. They will stand by one of their 
own kin, let him be ever so distantly related, to the very last 
By the laws ! it's an excellent project 1*— I've a warm heart, a 
winning way, and great choice; so I'll even cast my eye about 
"ior a convement helpmate ; eat, drink, and be merry again." 

Reader, dseae were my thoughts, at the latter end of the 
year 1803 ; for I am the identical Habakkuk BuUwrinkle above* 
moitioiied. Pursiawit to my resolution, I began to wheedle my- 
self into the gqod graces oC the girls. I often met with a very 
taierahie lec^^tioii, conadering all things, and had many times 
neaarly compassed the objeet of my hopes, whsn. the demon dis- 
a^tointment, in the semblance of a clod-hopper, 'yclept Andrew 
Skelpe, — ^walked in to dash the cup of happiness from my lips. 
I never attempted to kiss a lass behind a hay-mow, or an old 
tree, but what £im fellow would thrust his ugly phiz between me 
tjnd the sweet pair of lipe I was longing to salute ! If ever I 
made an appointment to meet a farmer's daughter, and prattle 
away an hour or two with ber, unseen by ail, Skelpie and she 
were generally linked lovingly, arm in arm together, on my 
anivaL 

The first time I ever beheld this destroyer of my peace, was 
at a village revel. I shall never forget the manmsr in which he 
rose £pMn the grass on which he had been drowsily lolloping, and 
looked out tlumigh his ha^-Hiilosed eyelids, at the efibrts of the back- 
sword players on the sward. Ho was called upon to enter the ring 
with a fdlow about his own height, but more fleshy and comely- 
looking by half, — being precisely what middle-aged good-wives 
term " a portly figure of a man," and very much to my liking. 
• Skdpie got up from, the cod tuif, one joint at a timej and made 



162 HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLE. 

his way into the circle, by one of the most extravagant and ludi* 
crous paces I ever beheld : it was between the ungainly toddle 
of an ox, and the loose-jointed motion of a drunken, staggering 
stripling. The portly fellow was a stranger from a neighbouring 
county, who valued himself on his prowess at single-stick; he had 
already peeled the bark off a brace of noses, and the grey- 
headed rustics, who encompassed the scene of action and glory, 
trembled for the honour of their native village. An immense 
shout of applause greeted Skelpie's appearance ; for, in him, it 
was well known, the champion of Wedmore himself would find a 
redoubtable opponent He surveyed his adversary with a con- 
fident and most provoking glance, accompanied with an upturning 
of the higher lip, and a smack of his homy fingers, that sounded 
like the crack of a waggoner's whip. He coolly selected a stick, 
screwed it into his hand-guard, padded his elbows, gave one 
stentorian 'hemT and then — I never beheld such a mutation in my 
life ! — ^his eyes flew open, his lips denched, every muscle in his 
body was instantly awakened, every limb was in active and most 
turbulent motion : he hit at his opponent's head, with a velocity 
that, to me, seemed supernatural; I heard a continual and most 
merry peal of blows rattling about the sconce of the portly 
stranger, but I could scarcely detect a single motion of the stick. 
The skin was tough — particularly touglr; and, for some time, 
defied Skelpie's sturdy thwacks. At the dose of the vigorous 
bout he looked amazed, muttered a curse on his ineffective 
weapon, and was just about to begin again, when, observing 
something suspicious about the dosed mouth of his adversary, he 
put forth his hand, and parted the swollen lips of the stranger, 
from whose mouth a stream of blood immediately gushed. The 
comely man afterwards acknowledged, that he had received a 
cut under his lip at the beginning of the play, but had sedulously 
sucked in the blood, and swallowed it, hoping to crack Skelpie's 
pate before it would be discovered. At this fine old English 
sport, he who draws from his adversary's head suffident blood to 
stain musUn, is proclaimed the victor. Skelpie afterwards threw 
half-a-dozen sturdy fellows at wrestling, and bore off the prizes 
at the village games, as he had frequently done on previous 
occasions. He was by no means handsome in face, fairly spoken, 
well-made, or merry ; — ^the simple wenches idolized the dog for 
his prowess. He was capricious and fSalse, but they seemed to 
like bun the better. Each, in her turn, hoped to fix the rover. 



RABAKKUK BULL WRINKLE* 163 

excite the envy of her predecessors in his affections, and bear off 
the palm, where they had ingloriously failed. He took no 
trouble to gain their love, and they unanimously doated on him. 
I often longed to see him get a good thrashing, and many timet 
felt strongly impelled to fall on him myself; but a whole flood of 
fears and forebodings, invariably drowned the few sparks of 
courage and vigour in my breast, and I laudably forebore. 

My love-suits were innumerable ; but although they usually 
began and went on auspiciously, Skelpie never failed to beat me 
off the field in the end. The dog seemed to be unconscious of 
the mischief he made, and that irritated my spirit in a tenfold 
degree. He seemed to bear no malice against me, and many 
times rendered me an essential piece of service. I shall never 
fbiget the night when he clutched me by the cheek, and pulled 
me out of a Hood-swollen brook, when I was at my last gasp^ 
and then abused and threatened to bethwack me for being such 
a fool, and giving him the trouble of wading chin-deep to save 
me. My intellect, on this occasion, was befogged with the fumes 
of stout October, and I knew not where I went. 

It would be tedious to narrate the whole of my adventures 
daring the year which I spent in seeking out a wife ; I shall 
content m3r8elf with particularizing what befel me in the pursuit 
of the four last objects of my love. And, first, let me introduce 
Ruth, — Ruth Grobstock, the daughter of a rough miller, who 
resided on a hill about a mile to the left of the village. I secretly 
wooed her about a month, undisturbed by any mortal ; I thought 
I was sure of her, and began to concert measures for obtaining 
a dignified introduction to her daddy, the miller. 

One evening, after having ruminated for many hours on 
Ruth's attractions, I determined to roam up to the mill, which I 
had never before visited, — ^having hitherto carried on my love- 
suit with Ruth away from her home, at meetings which were too 
fi^quent to be altogether accidental. While I loitered about the 
mill, pondering on the best mode of drawing out Ruth, — ^for she 
had no reason to expect me, — ^the moon suddenly gleamed full 
upon me, through an opening in the oak tree which stretched 
its huge boughs over the white cottage in which the miller dwelt ; 
and methought there was something similar to the malicious 
smile of an arch woman, when intent upon a prank, gleaming on 
her sparkling face ; her unnecessary glances, as she seemed to 
peep through the tree, for the express purpose of betraying me to 



164 HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLE. 

observation, threw me into a panic. I had heard of old Grob- 
stock's moods and manners, and I feared him. I felt sure of a 
kind and endearing reception from Ruth, although I came alto- 
gether uninvited and unawares ; but I fancied for a moment that 
I heard her father's flails whistling about my ears, and felt the 
teeth of his tykes rioting in my fat My pulse throbbed audiUy ; 
and I was on the point of again making my way into the wood 
that clothed the hill-side, when a multitude of clouds, which 
had been gradually hemming in the light of the moon, suddenly 
stretched over her face, and relieved my terrors by screening me 
from her afflicting glances. I rejoiced, and waxed courageous 
and young in heart again. The curtains of the best room in the 
little cottage were negligently drawn, and I had the satisfaction, 
after sundry leaps, of getting a glimpse of Ruth's little and 
exquisite foot, as it danced up and down before the blaze of a 
chirruping fire, which sparkled on the broad hearth. A gentle 
tap at the window set her on her legs in a moment, and before I 
coidd reach the door, she was there with an outstretched hand, 
and a pair of warm, ripe, ruddy lips, pouting forth to greet n^a. 
This was delicious ! — The fiiendly clouds were still sheltering me 
from the moon's eye ; Ruth stepped forth, and we stood close at 
the foot of the old oak, in the most impervious and delight^ 
darkness imaginable. I was mute with delight, but my happy* 
hearted, loving little damsel's speech, after a few moments of 
silence, gradually began to thaw, and at length, overwhelmed me 
with a torrent of words : — " Oh ! I am so glad you are come^" 
quoth she ; " if you had not, we should not have had a moment's 
talk together for the week. Daddy's gone out ; but to-morrow 
evening, and the next, he means to stop at home, and get drunk ; 
and, although his over-night's promises in other afiairs melt like 
mists in the morning sun, and are quite forgotten by mid-day, yet^ 
when he says he shall get drunk, he always backs it wi' an oath, 
and then makes it a matter of conscience religiously to keep his 
word ; so that, you see, my dear Skelpie — " 

I was struck all of a heap ! — The purport of her subseqaent 
discourse palpably proved, that she had mistaken me, in the dailc, 
for the eternal and never^failing Skelpie. Her lips once more ap- 
proached mine; I was foaming with rage and disappointment; my 
hand had shrunk from her grasp, as firom the touch of an addei^ 
^e instant the detested name of Skelpie escaped from her lips ; 
I had already taken in a mighly draught of breath, intending to 



HABAXKUK BULLWaiNKLS. 165 

s 

shower a whole volley of curses on her and Skelpie, together, 
— ^when I suddenly experienced a shock, that deprived me of all 
sort of sensation in an instant How long I lay in a death-like 
state I cahnot conceive; but I remember well enough, that 
when I awoke from my lethaigy, trance, fit, or whatever it was, 
I found myself most painfully compressed in an aperture of the 
oak tree, through which the children were wont to enter into ita 
hollow trunk. The moon was out in all her glory again, and 
her light fell upon the white brow of Ruth, and the grey jacket 
of the lean, and, by me, abhorred Skelpie. Yes, there he was, 
twining endearingly round the sylph-like form of the false maid, 
who seemed to feel a pleasure in his embraces, which, to me, 
appeared altogether unaccountable. It was plain, from their talk, 
that they did not conceive I was within hearing. I would fain have 
persuaded myself that I was dreaming, but my endeavours were 
inefiectual ; the rugged edges of the aperture insinuated them- 
selves into my sides, and pained me dreadfully. Did Skelpie 
strike me? thought I; and does he imagine that I rolled down the 
declivity, from the force of the blow, and am now weltering in 
the ditch at its foot ? — Truly, it was a most tremendous assault ; 
and his conclusion of the effect, judging from the force of the 
cause, would be far from imreasonable. My case was forlorn in 
ihe extreme: my head, and one of my arms, were in the trunk of 
the tree ; I was fixed in a most uneasy, slanting position ; and my 
feet were so placed on the outside, that the moon threatened 
every minute to reveal them. I would have given the world to 
be even flouhdering in the mire of the ditch, or anywhere else, 
out of the reach of Skelpie's fist I was almost sufibcated, and 
did not dara to breathe louder than a listening roe : a sigh or 
groan would in some degree have eased my pangs; but the 
sight of Skelpie, prevented me from indulging in the consolation 
of the most wretched. 

At length, a loud halloo announced the approach of old 
Grobstock. Skelpie instantly intimated his intention of de~ 
camping, but the vile maid desired him to clamber up the oak, 
and hide amongst its branches, until her daddy went to bed. 
Here was a terrific request! — " I won't go into the hollow," quoth 
he ; ** 'cause the zuzpicious ould jakes do always pry into there, 
avore a' do goa to bed." I took the cufi* of my coat between my 
teeth, and resolutely prepared for the worst; — but Skelpie ascended 
ihe other side of the tree. He had scarcely broken off the 



166 HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLB. 

prolonged salute of the kissing Ruth, when old Roger Grobstock, 
drunk, and growling, staggered up to the door. " Eh ! what, 
lassie — ^wench! out and abroad at this time of night!" cried he, 
as Ruth tripped up towards him. " Ahey ! what, vlaunting and 
trapesing about the whoam-stead wi' some vellow, I'll warrant! 
Odd! I'll verret un out; only bide a bit, I'll be about un. I be 
downcast vor want of a frolic to-night ; so, ecod ! lass, I'll duck 
the lad avore I goes to bed, just vor a bit of a joke like, — all in 
good vellowship, — ^but, icod! I'll duck un, if he's a friend ; and 
if he is a stranger,— dost hear, wench? — 111 drash un wi' the flail, 
just like a whate-sheaf." 

Every word of his speech was equal to a blow : I struggled to 
get free with all my might ; I had succeeded so far as to raise 
myself upright, when the miller, who had entered the house at 
the conclusion of his threat, re-appeared at the door with a 
flaming brand from the hearth in one hand, and a tremendous 
dung-fork in the other. He staggered directly close up to the 
tree ; but the sight of my out-jutting stomach, and alarmed 
visage, made him retreat a few paces. He thrust out the burning 
stick so near my face, that it scorched my cheek; and after 
surveying my disconsolate and rueful deportment for a minute or 
more, he grounded his weapon, and accosted me in these words : 
" Why, thee bee'st a purty vellur, beesen't? — ^And where did'st 
come vrom — and who bee'st ? Art thee a thief, or — ^but, noa, it 
can't be, — thee bee'st never come to court our Ruth, bee'st ? — 
speak, twoad, or I'll vork tha !" 

There was Ruth, looking over her father's shoulder, evidently 
alarmed at my appearance ; Skelpie's heels were dangling over 
my head ; the pronged fork was close to my waistcoat ; I stared 
in the face of the old man, unable to utter a word, but sweating 
like a baited bull, and plainly expressing my fears by my woe- 
begone and pallid countenance. I expected some dire punish- 
ment for my silence ; but old Grobstock, after surveying me for 
a minute, to my great surprise, burst into a loud laugh, seized 
my trembling hand, and, with one vigorous effort, pulled me out 
of my imprisonment. After dragging me, helpless as I was, 
into the house, and placing me in a chair by the fire-side, he 
thrust a mug of cider and brandy into my hand, chuckling out, 
"Why, zooks! chap, how vrighted thee looks! — drink!" Here 
was a change ! 

By degrees I summoned up courage : the miller made me 



HABAKKUK BULIWRINKLE. 167 

drink stoutly of his good liquor; and, more than once, teixed 
the dung-fork, and placing himself in a threatening attitude, 
thrust the points of it close to my breast, in order to make me 
look frightened again, and amuse him. I was twenty times on 
the point of revealing the whole affair, but a single look of 
Ruth's eloquent eye froze the words on my lips. 

After an hour's laughter, interrupted only by gaspings for 
breath, and frequent applications to the jug, my old host gave me 
a broad hint to depart ; and afler civilly opening the door, and 
wishing me a hearty good night, gave me a most grievous kick, 
that sent me galloping down the hill, and betook himself to 
laughing as heartily as before. I never courted young Ruth of 
the mill again. 

My next love was the pale, down-looking, modest Ally Budd, 
the niece of that boisterous old harridan, Hester Caddlefurrow ; 
whose name was a hushing- word to the crying urchins for many 
miles aroimd ; they feared her more than Raw-head-and-bloody- 
bones, the wide-mouthed Bogle, or even the great Bullyboo him- 
selfl The lads of the village generally preferred the more hale 
and ruddy wenches in the vicinity; Ally was not roystering 
enough for them; she had no capacity to feel and enjoy their 
rude merriment, or rough frolics ; and few suitors doffed the cap 
of courtship at old Hetty Caddlefurrow's threshold. But Ally 
was, indeed, a beauty. Her youthful companions and neighbours 
saw nothing extraordinary in her calm, dove-like eye; but to me, 
it looked like the surface of a smooth lake, in the still moonlight, 
with a delicious heaven of love smiling in its blue depths. I met 
her several times, at a distance from her home, and made her 
acquainted with my growing passion ; but she always chilled my 
ardour by a ceremonious reference to her austere and masculine 
aunt. I laid these evasive receptions of my proffered affection to 
the credit of her modesty, and loved her the better for them. 
I used to hover about on the tops of the hills which overlooked 
her abode, watching for the moment when my young dove would 
glide forth from the thatched cot, that nestled among the trees 
beneath me, with a feverish anxiety that I never felt on any 
other occasion in my life. She neither seemed to shun or court 
my company ; but came forth, smiling, and fearless of evil, like 
the white star of the evening, in the soft summer's gloaming. 
The presence of other women, with whom I have been in love, 
has usually thrown me into a turbulent fever ; but Ally Budd's 



168 HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLE. 

pale, beautiful face, soft eyes, and gentle voice, had a calm and 
soothing influence on my spirit Her words fell like oil, even on 
the stormy tide of her aunt's rough passions; whose ire she could 
quell at will, and oftentimes saved the offending clowns in the 
old woman's employ from an elaborate cuffing. In this exercise, 
Hester was said to excel any man in the parish: she had a 
violent predilection for thwacking, or, to use her own expression, 
lecturing, her domestics for every trivial offence ; and nothing 
but the high wages which she gave, induced the rustic labourers 
to remain in her service. I was one evening sauntering round 
the summit of the hill which immediately looked down upon 
Hester's house, occasionaUy stealing a glance from the pathway 
into the wood towards the rich glories of the declining sun, when 
a rude hand clutched me by the collar behind, and, in a moment, 
pulled me backwards into an immense wheelbarrow. The gigantic 
villain who had performed this daring feat, directly placed him- 
self between the handles of the vehicle, and vigorously trundled 
it down the hill. I was seated, or rather, self-wedged in the 
barrow, with my legs painfully dangling over the rim, on each 
side of the wheel : the velocity, with which we descended the 
steep and rugged declivity, deprived me of all power ,* the fellow 
panted and laughed, pushing on with increased vigour, imtil we 
came in sight of the wide-gaping door of old Hester's kitchen. 
His fellow-labourers, who were seated at the porch, immediately 
rose at the sight of our novel equipage. — Confound the rascal ! he 
was a most experienced ploughman, and deemed this a fair 
opportunity of shewing his great rectilinear skill, and obtaining 
the applause of his fellows, by driving me at full speed through 
the door-way of the house. It stood exactly at the foot of the 
steepest part of the hill ; and, from the tremendous rate at which 
we travelled, the downfall of the whole edifice seemed inevitable! 
My senses, which had partially taken leave of me in the course of 
the descent, returned just as we arrived within a few yards of our 
destination; I uttered one shriek, desperately closed my eyes^ 
and gave myself up for a buried man. 

The next moment I found my body, safe and unhurt, on the 
hearth of Dame Caddlefurrow's kitchen. There was the dame, 
seated in her bee-hive chair, staring with surprise, impatience, 
and anger, at my worship in the barrow. As soon as the clown 
recovered his lost breath, he proceeded to an explanation of 
the cause of his introducing such an unsightly and unknown 



BABAKKUK BULLWRIVKLS. 169 

personage as me to her goodly presence. ** I ha' seed the chap/' 

quoth he, elevating the handles of his wheelbarrow to the top of 

his shoulders, so as to afford the dame a full view of my person ; 

" I ha' zeed the chap scaures and scaures o' times, skulking 

about the hill, always and vor ever just about night-vaU, when 1 

do goa a-voddering the beasts ; zo, thinks I, thic jockey bean't 

loitering about here zo often wi' any good plan in his noddle : 

moorauver, I ha' zeed un, coming athirt the vields ov a night; 

just avore harvest, treading down whole zheaves o' wheat at a 

voot-vall : — that nettled I more nor all ; zo I looked out vor un 

to-night, zlipped un into the dung^barry, walked un down the hill- 

zide, and drove un through the ould porch ztraight as a vurrow : — 

zo here a' is, and let un gi'e a 'count ov hi'zelf." ** Ay, let un 

give an account of himself," said the sturdy dame; "Who bee'st, 

'oosbert?*' — ^To say that I was at the point of dissolution, were 

needless. I began to mutter a few incoherent sentences, when 

one of the fellows at the door cried out, " He's Habby BuUwrinkle, 

the devil'sr-bird, down in the village." **A lawyer!" shouted 

Mistress CaddleAirrow, in a tone that doomed me, in perspective, 

to all the horrors of the horse-pond; — "Why, thou bloated raven! 

thou — " " Zober — ^zober, mother," whispered a voice behind me ; 

and a hand, at the same time, quietly put the enraged widow 

back towards her bee-hive; "bide a bit; only bide a bit; hearken 

to reason." I extricated myself from the barrow, and looked up 

to see who my protecting angel could possibly be ; it was no 

other than Skelpie. " This gentleman's my vreind," cpntinued 

he, looking droUy towards me ; " he and I be main vond o' one 

another ; I zeldom goes to chat wi' a lass, but what he is near at 

hand; zo — d'ye mind? — he often come wi' I to the top of the hill, 

and bided there, wliile I just stepped down to court little Ally 

vor an hour or zo ; that's all : — I lefl un there to-night. I axed the 

mopus to come in, but he's modest, main lAodest, vor a chap of 

his years." So saying, he resumed his seat, and tendered me the 

cider-mug and a spare pipe in such a j^endly and unsuspicious 

manner, that told me all was right in a moment. The clowns 

retired, and the old dame looked on me as kindly as her features 

would permit, under the impression that I was the chosen friend 

of her niece's intended husband ; for such, I soon discovered, 

Skelpie was by her considered ! — ^As soon as the storm in my 

veins had somewhat abated, I looked around for the mild goddess 

of my idolatry, the lady-like, modest, soft, silver-eyed Ally Budd. 

M 



170 HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLE. 

She was drooping in a dark comer, with a check apron thrown 
over her folded arms^ and snoring audibly ! 

I could not bear to think of the heartless creature for a year 
after; of course I never hovered over the abode of Dame 
Caddlefurrow again. Skelple soon deserted the cold lass foi 
another love ; and, after being obliged to dance in her stocking- 
vamps, according to the custom of the country, at the marriages of 
her two younger sisters, Ally was wedded to an unlucky miser, — 
the most miserable character under the sun. But to resume : — 
after lighting my pipe, I sat for some minutes absorbed in re- 
flections on my late adventure. I did not like Skelpie a whit the 
better for having shielded me from the wrath of the boisterous 
widow; a blow from his hand would have been much more 
acceptable than a favour : I imagined that he was rioting on the 
idea of having vexed me, by his act of apparent good-nature and 
kindness ; and ' I construed his silence very much in favour of 
this vagary of my heated imagination. Presently I heard a noise 
behind old mother Caddlefturow's chair, which resembled the faint 
and irregular chuckling of a woman's half-stifled laugh ; and, 
anon, a tuft of hair, dark as the raven's wing, topped by a phea- 
sant's plume, gleamed over the head of the chair ; a white brow, 
and a pair of laughing black eyes, brim full of tears, followed ; 
and in a few minutes, Kate Skelpie, the wicked, mischievous 
sister of my deliverer, tumbled out of the recess, which the 
dame's chair had eflectually shaded. She was a round, dumpy 
lass, fuU of tricks as a frolicsome colt, with an impertinent cocked 
nose, and a pair of lips, that were continually in waggish and 
most alluring motion. I had seen her before at a farmer's 
merry-making, when she picked me out for a partner, and, not- 
withstanding my obesity, obliged me to dance down six-and- 
thirty couple of giggling girls, and roaring men;— keeping up, all 
the time, as grave a face as ever sat on the shoulders of an 
undertaker. I pitched and leaped about like a gambolling rhino- 
ceros, to the infinite diversion of the company, and my own 
solitary grief and dismay. Kate and I were the only persons in 
the room who looked at all solid. I felt an inkling of affection 
for the lass, even then,— why, I know not; and the continual 
crossings I received from Skelpie, determined me to make love 
under his own roof, where 1 should, most probably, be sure of 
peace and quietness in my trysting ; as Skelpie usually past the 
love time of the nights, about at the abodes of the different 



HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLS. 171 

Tillage toasts. Here was a glorious opportunity of improving 
my acquaintance with the twinkling-eyed Kate! She was not 
such a poetical-loolung creature as the snoring Ally Budd, nor so 
tall and comely as the false daughter of Orohstock; nevertheless, 
Kate Skelpie was a joctmd, pretty, and captivating young lass. 
I courted her, and prospered. 

She had no meddling parents to interfere with us; and 
Skelpie was, of course, absent from home five nights in the week. 
Many were the pranks which the dear jade played me; but I did 
not care ; — they kept my flame alive, and her occasional kind 
looks and unsolicited salutes convinced me that I held a place 
in her heart In the meantime, however, I carried on the war 
iu another quarter. I had two nights in the week to spare, and 
these I spent at a farm-house about a mile from the village, with 
a slender yoimg maiden, named Amaranth Safiem. 

One Saturday evening, Skelpie overtook me as I was joui> 
neying towards Amaranth's dwelling. He accosted me civilly ; 
and having some serious notions about his sister, I did not 
scniple to enter into conversation with him. He had not crossed 
me for above a month; and Kate had informed me, the night be- 
fore, "that she should have a good bit of gold, if the old chap at 
the Lands' End would but take it into his head just to die a bit:" 
these were good reasons for my civility, and we discoursed on the 
most fashionable village topics with great urbanity and mild- 
ness. At length, however, we arrived at Amaranth's door ; and 
then, for the first time, the truth flashed upon each of our minds. 
We were both evidently bent on a love-visit to the fair Saifem. 
Skelpie looked rather hurt, methought, and could not help 
heaving a short sigh. However, we both went in, and found 
Amaranth alone. It was market^ay ; and her crippled grand- 
father, with whom she dwelt, as we both well knew, was gone to, 
and in all probability would remain at, the next market-town 
until a late hour, according to his usual custom ; otherwise, we 
should almost as soon have ventured into a tiger's den, to despoil 
the animal of a whelp, as pay a love-visit to the old man's grand- 
daughter. The miller was a lamb, compared with dame Caddie- 
furrow; and that lady a dove in deportment, to old Jagger Safiem. 
But more of him anon. 

Amaranth, it was plain, favoured me rather than Skelpie. 
Without vanity be it spoken, I was, at that time, barring my 
obesity, which rendered me somewhat unsightly in the eyes of 

m2 



172 UAfiAKKUK BULLWRINKLE. 

the lean, rather a personahle man, and not quite forty. I was by 
no means particularly solicitous to gain the young SafTem's 
afTections, yet she clung to me in preference to Skelpie, who did 
all in his power to please her. He was evidently in love, and for 
the first time in his life, felt the pangs of jealousy in his heart 
I was his successful rival ! — I, even I, Habakkuk Bullwrinkle, the 
devil's bird, whom he had so long despised, had succeeded in 
warping the affections of his Amaranth ! — He bit his lip, loured 
and smiled by fits, and, in vain endeavoured to conceal the state 
of his heart. Amaranth seemed to rejoice in his torments ; she 
had always been tolerably liberal in her tokens of affection, but, 
on this occasion, she almost exceeded the bounds of probability. 
I did not much like it at last ; for I began to think she was 
making a fool of me. We went on in this way for above an 
hour, when the old cripple's poney suddenly clattered into the 
court-yard, Skelpie started on his legs in evident alarm. There 
was no way of escape, but through a back door into a little yard, 
which was surrounded by a villanous high wall, so smooth, and 
well-built too, as to defy even Skelpie's clambering capabilities. 

We had not been a moment outside the door, before the 
cripple entered the house. Skelpie was endeavouring with all his 
might to get over the wall : he clung like a cat to the bare bricks ; 
but, before he had well reached half-way up, his foot slipped, and 
down he came. I was standing disconsolately underneath him ; 
he fell so suddenly, that I had not time to get out of the way, 
and Skelpie's ponderous and hard skull struck me full in the pit 
of my stomach, and sent me staggering against the back door, 
which naturally gave way with the shock, and I was precipitated, 
on the broad of my back, in the very middle of the floor. 
Luckily, I came in contact with the table on which the candle 
stood, and extinguished the light in my fall. The embers were 
dying on the hearth, and Skelpie had hauled me by the legs, 
back into the yard, before the cripple (who waited to reach his 
loaded blunderbuss before he looked round) could catch more 
than a vague glimpse of my form and features. The door 
swimg inward, and Skelpie easily held it fast enough to prevent 
the cripple from pulling it open ; — at the same time carefully 
screening his body behind the wall of the house, from the 
cripple's bullets, which we expected to hear rattling through the 
door every moment. He growled like an incensed bear, and 
muttered ciu^es by wholesale on poor Araarapth, whom we heard 



HABAKKUK BULLWRINKLE. 173 

whining most piteously. At length, he seemed to take a sudden 
resolution, chuckled audibly, and proceeded to barricado the door 
with all the furniture in the room. Here was an end to all our 
hopes of enfranchisement and safety. But, oh ! dear me ! what 
were my feelings, when I heard the cripple hobbling up stairs, 
and trying to open a little window which commanded the yard ! 
We were in a sad situation ; our only choice of avoiding the 
lynx eyes of Jagger was by getting into two water-butts, which 
stood in the yard. The windows of the house looked into every 
comer, so that we could not possibly hope to conceal ourselves 
behind them. In we went together, but my ill luck still attended 
me ; Skelpie crouched comfortably in the beUy of a dry butt, 
but the one, into which I floundered, was half full of water. The 
chilling liquid rose to within a foot and a half of the brim, the 
moment I got in, so that it was impossible for me to crouch, being 
actually standing on tip-toe, neck high in water! It was a bleak 
night, but my fever saved my life. 

The cripple's blunderbuss, of unprecedented calibre, was 
thrust out of the window, before I could well moderate my quick 
breathing. He looked into every corner of the yard, but, hap- 
pily, did not perceive my miserable sconce, which was floating in 
the water-butt, immediately beneath him. He descended in a 
few minutes, and removed the furniture from the door, searched 
all round the yard, and, at length, discovering the marks of 
Skelpie 's shoes in the wall, concluded that we had escaped, and 
went grumbling to bed. It was a long time before I would suffer 
Skelpie to help me out of my hiding-place : he effected the job 
with infinite difficulty, and led me, dripping like a watering-pot, 
through the house. 

About a week afler this adventure, I discovered that Kate and 
Amaranth, who were once bosom friends, had quarrelled about me, 
and were now as spiteful to each other as possible. They met, 
one evening, at old Hetty Caddl^furrow's, and, on comparing notes, 
found that I was playing a double game. Ally Budd was present, 
but she said nothing. After lavishing the usual abusive epithets 
on me, they began to look coldly upon each other : from cool 
looks, they proceeded to vituperative insinuations; and, before they 
parted, naturally came to an open rupture. Occasionally, I suf- 
fered a little from their pouting and touting ; but, in the main, 
I was happy enough between them. Each tried all her arts to 
win me horn her rival ; they sometimes met, grew great friends. 



174 llABAXKUK BVLLWRINKLE. 

Towed tbcy would both turn iiie'a backs upon me for ever, kissed, 
cried, quarrelled again, and grew more nuicoroiu to each otber 
and loving to me, than before. Skelpie became an altered man. 
Amaranth flouted him, abused hU aister to his face, and careieed 
me in his presence ; — although, I believe, the hussy, if she knew 
her own heart, loved the fellow all the time. Skelpie dressed 
smartly, discontinued his visits to all other girla, neglected his 
games, and even his daily occupations, to court Amaranth. He 
won the heart of the old cripple Saffem ; but the laM still turned 
a deaf ear to his vows ; — she was trying to vex Kate Skelpie. 
I was completi^ly happy ; 1 felt^— but wherefore should I dwell 
un this love conteit ?— Skelpie is looking over my shoulder, and 
does not seem to relish the protracted detail. Suffice it to say 
then, that the banns of marriage were at length published, betweeB 
Habakkuk Bullwrinkle, gentleman, and Kate Skelpie, spinster; — 
that we were united in due season ;— and that Skelpie, a short 
time afterwards, obtained the hani of Amaranth. The angry 
passions of the girls soon subsided, and ttiey loved each other 
better than ever. Skelpie became my bosom friend ; I prospered 
in busineM ; and the two families have lived together for above 
twenty years, in concord and happiness. The roses have faded 
in Amaranth's cheek, and the fire of Kate's eye is somewhat 
quenched ; but the relation of my own mishaps, Skelpie's ad- 
ventures, and our strange courtships, never fails to draw back the 
youthiiil smiles of hilarity in both their matronly faces. Heaven 
bless them '. 



SECOND COURSE ; 



THE NEIGHBOURS 
OF AN OLD IRISH BOX. 



NEIGHBOURS OF AN OLD IRISH EOT. 



INTBODUCTION. 

A ata-iMMED nsTsl Lieutenant, on half-psj, vrho waa distantly 
related to my mother's iamil j, had the good fortune to be preaeuted, 
in big declining years, trith a little cottage and s small portion of 
land sitnate in a village on the coast of Ireland, by one of his 
wealthy nephews, to whom it was nneipectedly devised by a 
miiden grand-aant, who had never seen him above once in his 
Ufe. I accompanied the Lieutenant, from Waterford, for no other 
reuon than becanse I had nothing, either better or worae, to do, 
when he went to take possesaon of his nephew's gifl ; and to pay 
a visit, after a separation of some yesrs, to his old shipmate — the 
friend of his youth, and the companion of bis manhood — Jimmy 
Htzgerald, — better known by the appellation of the Old Irish 
Boy, who dwelt in a mud cabin on the skirts of the village : the 
hititny of whose neighbours is given in the ensuing pages, as 
nearly aa poenhle in the same terms as he narrated it to my 
worthy relative, the one-armed Lieutenant, and myself^ in the 
coone of the two or ihree first evenings which we passed in bis 



JIMMY FITZGERALD. 

JiMMT FiTZGEEALD and the old Lieutenant had hoth entered 
the navy in equally humhle situations, at an early age : the 
friends of the latter, eventually, procured his advancement ; but 
Fitzgerald, whose relations were poor, never had the luck to be 
rated on any ship^s books in a higher station than that of an able 
seaman. The difference of rank had not the effect of dinumshing 
the respect and affection which the Lieutenant and Fitzgerald bore 
towards each other : in their manhood they were upon as familiar 
terms, so far as naval etiquette would permit, as when in their 
boyhood they had been equals. The Lieutenant had saved his 
friend's life, at the risk of his own, in the Mediterranean ; and, to 
judge from appearances, he was, if possible, more partial to Jimmy 
Fitzgerald than the Old Irish Boy was to him. The preserver 
frequently is found to display more affection towards the preserved, 
than the preserved either exhibits or feels towards his preserver. 

No two men could be much more unlike each other than the 
Lieutenant and Jimmy Fitzgerald. The former had received a 
tolerable education before he went to sea ; he had taken every 
opportunity to improve himself while in the service ; from the 
period of his retiring, he had read much on general subjects ; and 
he was, at the time of his taking possession of his nephew^s cot- 
tage, a very well informed man. Jimmy Fitzgerald, on the 
contrary, scarcely knew how to read vrhen he left his native vil- 
lage ; he had picked up but a slight smattering of such knowledge 
as is to be obtained from books, in his progress through life ; but 
he possessed a finer mind and greater powers of observation than 
his friend ; and the Old Irish Boy was, perhaps, superior to the 
better educated Lieutenant, in mental riches, discrimination, and 
eloquence, when they again met, after an interval of many years' 
separation, under the roof of the former. Jimmy Fitzgerald's 
style rose with his subject ; and he occasionally found himself at 
such an elevation, that it was a myst^ how he had been able to 
attain it. The Lieutenant was always level in his discourse : he 
neither descended so low, nor rose so high as his fnend ; nor did 
he, like Fitzgerald, ever presume to discuss any but common- 



JimiT FITZGERALD. 179 

place subjects. Jimmy occasioiially indulged in such daring 
flights, that he toppled down headlong from an altitude which 
he was unable to support ; a disgrace to which the more sober 
and matter-of-fact Lieutenant never subjected himself. The one 
sedulously avoided the utterance of anything new ; the other, if 
it had been in his power, would rarely have said anything that was 
old. The Lieutenant was circumspect, and the Old Boy ambitious : 
the former was stiflf, constrained, and rather stately in his lan- 
guage; the latter firee, careless, and Hibemically vernacular. 
Jimmy Fitzgerald was poor, almost dependant on the exertions of 
a niece and her two sons for support, and so afflicted in his nether 
extremities, that he could not move firom his chair without as- 
sistance ; but he was always merry, and rarely complained. The 
Lieutenant possessed a competency, he ei\joyed a most robust 
state of health, his legs, and the arm which the enemies of his 
country had left him, were still in full vigour ; but he frequently 
repined at his poverty, occasional slight attacks of head-ache, and 
at being compelled to do the work of two hands with one. 

Notwithstanding the difference in their temperaments, the 
two friends had rarely disagreed ; and Orestes and Pylades, or 
Damon and Pythias, could not have exhibited more affection to- 
wards each other, after a long separation, than Jimmy Fitzgerald 
and the Lieutenant did, when the latter entered the Old Irish 
Boy's cabin. My relation had, to use his own expression, been 
roaming about, here and there and everywhere, for a number of 
years ; and so little positive inclination did he feel for passing the 
remainder of his life in one place, that he would, probably, have 
declined his nephew's well-meant offer, had not Jimmy Fitz- 
gerald's cabin been within ten minutes' walk of the cott^e, and 
the sea been visible from two of its four front windows. The vil- 
lage was principally occupied by fishermen ; but there were two 
or three respectable families resident in the neighbourhood : to 
these the old Lieutenant had letters of introduction ; so that he felt 
satisfied, on entering upon his tolerably neat, but humble abode, 
that he should not be at a loss for society, even if it were possible 
for him ever to grow tired of that of his friend Fitzgerald. 

After a great number of mutual inquiries had been answered, 
and many expressions of reciprocal friendship had been uttered, 
Jimmy Fitzgerald drew forth a little tub of pothien from beneath 
the bed, with his crutch, — ^which was of no other use to him but 
to perform this and similar offices, — and protested by several 



180 JIMMY FITZGERALD. 

saints, whose names have escaped my memory, that we should 
have a jovial night of it. ^* Many*s the pitcher of good drink," he 
exclaimed, '^ the Lieutenant and I have helped one another ta 
empty : though, m say this for him, he'd always thirty-one points 
and a half more love for sobriety than ever Jimmy Fitzgerald could 
boast ; and at that same time, when he'd make mouths at a third 
can, and draw back from a fourth, as he would from a dog that 
was going to snap at him, I drank, and drank, — ^more shame to 
me for it, — as though Td declared war against spirits, and wished 
to exterminate them, — rum, in particular, — from the face of the 
earth. I think Pm a better man than I was long ago : no thanks 
to me, for that, though, perhaps ; for Pm out of the way of 
temptation ; and if Td the pay of an admiral, I couldn't enjoy 
myself as I did long ago. It's wrong of us to brag of our virtue, 
when we've no appetite left in us for sin : — ^that's a saying I stole 
from the priest, because it plazed me. You'll like Father Eillala. 
mightily, Lieutenant, when you come to know him ; as you soon 
will, won't you ? And noticing him reminds me of telling you, 
that while you're here. Til engage you'll never get reproached 
for being a Protestant." 

" Toleration, Jimmy — ^" • 

*^Is it toleration?" exclaimed Fitzgerald, interrupting the 
Lieutenant ; '* why then, in toleration, Father Eillala's flock are 
all lambkins. Pll add to that, — because, I know you'll like to hear 
it — ^we're as quiet as mice in these parts : we've no fighting, nor 
fairs, nor wren-feasts ; and as few ghosts or goblins. Banshees, 
Lepreghauns, or white women on horseback, as you'd wish : for 
we don't give such cattle much encouragement. Don't that plaze 
you, Lieutenant ?" 

" It does, — ^it does ; and I have no doubt but that I shall pass 
my days peacefully and pleasantly in your village, my good old 
friend. Jimmy Fitzgerald and I," continued the Lieutemmt, 
addressing me with unusual animation, ^' have fought and bled 
side by side ; we were confined together, for four years, in a French 
prison, from which we escaped in company ; we had but one to- 
bacco-box between us, for fifteen months ; and we accidentally feU 
in love with the same woman. Jimmy acted most magnanimously 
on that occasion : as soon as he discovered that I was his rival, 
he instantly resigned his pretensions in my favour." 

"' And you were quite as polite to me. Lieutenant," said Jimmy, 
** and I don't forget it to you to this day. You insisted, you know, 



JIMMT FITZGERALD. 181 

as strongly as I did : so that as each was resolute in not cutting 
out his friend, the darling delight of our hearts got neither of us ; 
and she*s now living, — an ould maid, as Tm tould, — near upon a 
mile and a half this side of Thurles.** 

" Is it possible ?" exclaimed the Lieutenant. 

** It's as true as you're bom, if Comey Carolan is to be belieyed 
on his oath. I wouldn't take his word ; but when a man swears 
to what he says, it's not dacent to discredit him, is it ?" 

** Certainly not," refdied the Lieutenant. ** And so P^gy ia 
living within a mile and a half of Thurles, is she ? — ^unmarried, 
too, you say?" 

'■*• She is ; and I don't think Td be doing my duty if I didn't 
tell you. I'll just take this present opportimity of saying, too, 
that as you think of settling, and as you're still well-looking, 
and I'm broke down out-and-out, so that she wouldn't look upon 
me, — Td sacrifice nothing, — ^that is, I wouldn't intirely brake my 
heart if you wint and married her." 

*^ James Fitzgerald," said the Lieutenant, '^ you are still the 
noble fellow you were thirty years ago. You have forestalled 
me on this occasion : I assure you that I was just working my- 
self up to say to you what you have said to me. You are still a 
bachelor, Jimmy, and, as far as I am concerned, Miss Mai^garet 
• lyfCarthy is quite at your service." 

" Thank you kindly, and good luck to you for this and all 
that's past," said Jimmy; "but, to spake my mind, — I never 
cared much about Peg." 

" Kor I, upon my honour ! " exclaimed the Lieutenant. 

" I was glad of an excuse to be rid of her," quoth Fitzgerald. 

" Precisely my own case, I protest," said the Lieutenant. 

^ And I never cared one half so little for her, as I do just 



now." 



" We coincide on this point to a tittle." 

" Then what becomes of our mutual devotion, Lieutenant ? 
It was all moonshine, you see." 

" Not exactly," replied the Lieutenant ; " man can look back 
on past occurrences, and see circumstances in their true light — " 

" Better than he can when they're under his nose ? " inter- 
rupted Fitzgerald. " Is it that you mane ? " 

" It is : passion and prejudice, as philosophy teaches us — " 

" Hould your tongue, Lieutenant," said Fitzgerald ; " for I 
think I can find a shorter way for us out of the bog, than your 



182 JIMHT FITZGERALD. 

jack-0* -lantern philosophy will light us to. The truth is, we 
were young and foolish that time ; we thought we loved the 
young woman, and we didn't : so there' fl an end of Peg. My 
hlessings he on her for all that, though ! She never did me harm ; 
and one of us, may he, was wrong in not marrying her.** 

** She told me to my face, — truth is a jewel, Jimmy Fitz- 
gerald," said the Lieutenant, **she told me, calmly and reso- 
lutely, when I informed her that you were as deeply in love 
with her as myself, that we had mistaken innocent flirting for 
affection ; and that, were a formal proposal made to her, she 
should indignantly reject it ; ^ for,* said she, * I would not have 
either of you, if one was a Rear Admiral, and the other a Major 
of Marines.* That was her precise expression.** 

" Oh ! Time, Time ! ** exclaimed Jimmy ; ** what a fine oold 
fellow you are, to be sure ! How you open our eyes, and bring 
things to light ! If it waai*t for you. Truth might often go hide 
her head.*' 

" I think," said the Lieutenant, rather gaily, " that if I wanted 
a wife, I might probably find one who would suit me better than 
Peggy, among your neighbours, friend Fitzgerald. And, by-the- 
by, as I am coming to live among them, I should be glad if yon 
would afford me a little insight to their various characters, cir- 
cumstances, and histories. I am well aware of your capability 
to do so : — ^when I found you on board the Janus, after we had 
parted company for more than seven years, you did me incalcu- 
lable benefit, by giving me a descriptive portrait of every sonl 
in the ship ; from the cook*s boy up to'the captain. Will you 
oblige me?** 

" I will, in that or anything else that's in the power o* me," 
replied the Old Boy. " If I devoted one half o' my life to you, 
since I was twenty, Fd still be your debtor for the other half : 
for didn't you save the whole of it at the risk of your own ? — 
You did, then ; and 111 never—** 

" Psha, psha, Fitzgerald ! you know what strong objections I 
have to your dwelling on that topic.** 

" Go along with you, and don't be prating so, sir,** «aid 
Jimmy ; " I won't put up with your taking the liberty of doing 
a fine thing for me, and then bidding me not spake of it. My 
bits of gratitude, now and then, goes for the interest ; but Fll 
never be able to pay off the debt. Still, though the one is out of 
my power to do, Td not be aisy in my own mind if I neglected 



JIMMT riTZGEEAU). 183 

the other that isn't: so that, after all, may be, when we think 
we're doing great things, by acting as we should to others, we*re 
just egged on to it, by the fear of not being on good terms with 
ourselyes. YouVe often tould me, Lieutenant, I should be your 
Corporal Trim, — ^the man you and I read about, long ago, in 
Jaek FIanagan*8 bit of a book, aboard the Bellerophon : and I 
would be so, but my legs took to their heels and deserted roe, 
you know ; and so I couldn't, could I ? Did you ever get hould 
of a book, since I saw yon, with the middle and both ends of 
that stoiy in it ? — If you did, as we'd only the middle and a hxx 
o' the beginning in Jack Flanagan's greasy library, I'd be glad 
if you'd tell it me." 

*'*' I will, with pleasure, Fitzgerald, when — ^" 

*' When I've described my neighbours to you, is it ? AVell, 
then, m do that, I think, b^ore we part, if the whiskey houlds 
out, and it don't get much the better of us. But it sha'n't, shall 
it ? — ^for we'll put ourselves upon short allowance, and drink as 
we ought, to the renewal of our acquaintance, when Fm done, 
m tell you, before I begin, that you couldn't pick out any nine 
in the whole barony, knows half so much about the people that's 
in it, aa myself; though Pm fast moored here, like a Trinity- 
house buoy on a sand-bank : but though I see little, I hear mudi ; 
and as I can't go to any body, why, every body comes to me." 

*^I am grieved to the heart, Jimmy Fitzgerald," said the 
Lieutenant, ''*' to behold you so fettered by your infirmities ; con- 
fined, if I may use the expression, like a pig in a coop — ^" 

"Liberty, Lieutenant," interrupted the Old Irish Boy, "is 
only comparative at the best ; and none of us gets our fill of it. 
Going about from one place to another isn't freedom, as I think 
you'U own : so why need I cry out ? If it was, nobody, as I said, 
while ago, has as much as he wishes of it. Td be delighted to be 
able to go get mass once a week, and to crawl a quarter of a mile 
now and then ; but my infirmities prevent me : so I don't have 
my wish. But Tm only like the rest o' the world ; and, therefore, 
I ought to be contented ; though, Fll own, Pm not so, exactly. 
One man sighs to have a jaunt into the country, sometimes, — 
but his wife won't let him leave the town he lives in ; another 
thinks he'd be happy if he could p'rambulate about in foreign 
parts, — ^but his pocket keeps him at home; even that mighty 
conqueror, Alexander the Great, if there's truth in the song that's 
made about him, found the globe itself too little for his desires ; 



and you know, well enough, that little Snookeohausen used to be 
telling UB &t MiJta, of an oold philosopher, in andent times, who 
fell ont with bia own bread and butter, like a big bab j as be was, 
because be couldn't have another world for a play-ground, so as 
he might play trap-ball with this. There's none of ns but strains the 
cable bj which we're moored, as tight as we well can ; and many's 
themautrieB,all his life, tocutit,RndBheeroffu>totheniain; but 
he can't. If yon tie up a horse in a field, he'll not care half bo 
much about the rich grass that's under his nose, as he will for a 
few dry blades, which bis rape won't let faira reach ; and he'll be 
trying for them, when he might be filling his belly with better. 
If I am, aa yon say, shut up here like a pig in a wop, — and it's 
true enough, — Pve the comfort of knowing, that he, who thinks 
himself free, and brags about bia liberty, has s ring in his nose, 
and, may be, two or three other incumbrances, whkh prevent 
him, although he's adrift, from enjoying his freedom, or doing as 
be likes, much more than I can. — But now for my neighbours " 



THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 

Mick Maguikb is a natiye of these parts, and he*8 out and 
out the oddest fish among my neighbours, as I think, and as 
you*ll think too, may be, by-and-by, when I tell you more about 
him. — ^Didn*t it ever occur to you, that a man may be ruined by 
a bit of good luck as well as by bad ? — Tm sure it must. — ^I had 
an unde at Tralee, who was left seventy poimds by his wife*s 
gossip ; and he welcomed the gift so warmly, and caroused so 
heartOy to the honour of the giver, that he never ceased drink- 
ing and losing his time, — ^though he was a dacent man, and did 
business as he ought before, — until the seventy pounds, and a 
little to the taQ of it, had slipped through his fingers. But that 
wasn't the end of it : for he got such bad habits as he never could 
shake off again ; so he lived a few years a sot, and died a beggar : 
all which wouMnH have happened but for the seventy pounds his 
wife's gossip gave him. — ^I knew a young woman, whose name I 
wonH mention, for the sake of her family, who lost herself entirely 
through a love of fine clothes, which she had never cared more 
about, than just a little, as aU women do, — and no blame to them, 
— before her brother, who sailed for three years in the same ship 
with me, brought her home a little bag of silks and things above 
her station, which, when she'd worn them, made her despise her 
plain^ honest, ould duds : but them that was about her couldn't 
give her better ; so she grew sick of home, and did that she was 
sore at heart for when sh6 came to a death-bed. — Ah I then's the 
time, if we never did before, when we know right from wrong ; — 
then's the time, when the brain balances things and gives true 
weight to all our misdeeds; — ^then's the time, when a man, who 
could never before recollect what he did that day se'nnight, 
remembers all the evil he has done in his days, and all the good 
he might have done, but wouldn't. A dying man's memory, if he 
has been a bad one, is one of the most perfect and terrible things in 
the world ; — go see one yourself, and you'll own it. We may be 
'cute enough to hide what we do from the world all our lives, but 
we can't do so fh>m ourselves when death puts out his big bony 
paw to give us a grim welcome to his dark dominions. We may 
be 'cute enough to^shut our own eyes to what we've done, when 

ir 



186 THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 

we're strong and able, and the world's going merrily round with 
us ; and we may be fools enough to think that our sins are blotted 
out when we have forgotten them ; — ^for Fve found tha^ men are 
just like the ostriches I've seen myself, in Africa, which, when 
they're hunted, poke their pates into a dark place, leaving their 
bodies entirely exposed, and ^cy no one can see them if they 
can't see themselves : — but when we know that the last sands in 
our glass are running, and the dead sea is glimmering before na, 
we can't poke our heads into a comer,— don't you see P— -or tie a 
stone to the neck of each of our iniquities, and drown it ; — or look 
another way, and think of to-morrow's dinner, when they're 
coming to meet us; — or silence their small but very terrible voices, 
by whistling the burthen of an old song: for, — do you mark? — 
they won't be served so : they will be seen ; they will q)eak ; and, 
faith ! it's hear them we must, whether we will or no. We may 
have fancied them dead and gone, years ago ; but their ghosts 
start up and surround our death-beds, and clamour so, that we 
can't but listen to them : and what's most awful, they make a 
man his own judge ; and no earthly judge is so impartial as a 
man is of himself, when his people are just wishing him good-b'ye 
for ever. For when we get on the brink of life and death, and 
know that it's ten to one we'll be dead l^ the morning, and it's 
just midnight already ; — ^when we think that in a few hours^ our 
ears will be deaf, and our eyes blind, and we can't wag a finger, 
and our cold white corpse will be stretched out on a board, — 
motionless, helpless, good for nothing, and lumber more than 
anything else; — ^when we know, that, much as^we thought of 
ourselves, the sun will rise, and the birds sing, and the flowers 
look beautiful, and the ox be yoked to the plough, and the chim- 
neys smoke, and the pot be boiled, and the world go on without 
us, as well as if we'd never been in it ; — ^then's the time, I say, we 
get our vanity cut up by the roots, and feel what atoms weVe 
been in it ; — and then's the time too, that the soul,— just before 
pluming her wings, and having half shaken off the dross of hu- 
manity, — ^becomes strong as the body gets weak, and won't be bam- 
boozled, but calls up all our sins past, and places them stedfastly 
before our eyes ; and if we've done wrong — ^that is, much of it, — a 
big black bird stretches out her great wings and flutters, brooding 
like a weight of cold lead, on our hearts ; and conscience, though 
we've contrived to keep her down all our lives, then starts up, 
taking advantage of our helplessness, and reigns in foil power. — 
But what's all this to Mick Maguire? you'll say. — ^Faith! then, not 



THB NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 187 

much : I began with an idea of getting to him in a few words, but 
was led astray, by noticing the death of the yovtng woman I 
mentioned as being ruined by the gift of a brother, who meant it 
fear her good. And you'll think it odd, may be, that the likes o* 
me casts over things so sariously : but I do, and there's nothing 
places me more than so doing, when Fm left alone here by 
myself for hours and hours togetiier, while all that's near and 
dear to me is out upon the waves, the mighty roar of which, as 
they break upon the rocks about me, I hear night and day ; and 
the sound o* them, and solitude, begets sarious thoughts ; and so 
they should, in one that's gone sixty. There's never a day but I 
think o* death, so that I'm sure I'll be able to meet him firmly 
when he knocks at the gates of life for me, and bids me come. If 
I could go about, Pd not have such oceans of odd, out o* the way 
thoughts, oonsaming various things ; but here I am, fettered by 
my infirmities to an ould chair, and I've nothing to do half my 
time, but think. Don't imagine, though, that Fm laid up in a 
harbour of peace, or that the other half of my time is calm and 
pleasant: it's no such thing; the woes and the wickedness of 
the world — good luck to it though, for ail that — ^reaches me here 
in this comer, though it's harm me they canH much. Fm like 
an ould buoy, fast mooi^ to an anchor on a bad coast, over 
which the waves dashes and splashes all day long, but they can 
neither move it nor damage it. But whafs all this to Mick 
Magnire ? you'll say, again. Faith I then, little or nothing : but 
now I've done, and we'll get on. 

Mick, like my uncle at Tralee, has been ruined by a gift. He 
was once a hard-working man, and did well ; until young Pierce 
Veogh, just after he came into possession of the house that's 
called "The Beg," on the hill yonder,— which he did at his 
jBitherls death, — gave Mick an ould gun once, for something I 
forget ; and that gun has been the ruin of him. He works one 
day in the week to buy powder and shot ; and half starves him- 
self, and goes in rags the other six, prowling about the rocks, and 
firing at sea-gulls and so forth, but seldom d^ooting one. 

lack's an oddity, as I tould you before ; and why so f you'll 
say. Why, then, not for his face, for he's good-looking ; nor for 
his figure, for he's straight and well built ; nor for his jokes, for 
he never makes one ; nor for any one thing in the world but his 
always telling the plain naked truth ; good or bad, no matter if' 
it haims him, he don't mind, but always spakes the thing that is^ 
and won't tell even a white lie for himself, much more for any 



188 THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 

one else : — ^and if that's not an oddity, I don't know what is. 
There's so much lying going on in the world, that if a man just 
lives in a comer, and sees only three people in the year, he most 
lie now and then ; or, somehow, things won't be as they should 
be ; he won't do like them that's about him, and can't get on : why, 
I don't know ; but so it is. Mick was never known to tell a 8t(xy 
in his whole life ; but he has sworn to so many out o' the way 
things, that he's often been suspected to be a big liar: for I need 
scarce say to you, that nothing can look more like a lie sometimes 
than the plain truth. But whatever Mick says, always at last 
and in the long run turns out to be fact : so that we don't know 
what to think of the story he has of the fairy he saw on the 
rocks long ago. It seems as much like a lie as anything ever I 
heard ; but if it is one, it's the first Mick tould ; and if so, troth 
then, it's a thumper. And why shouldn't it ? — ^A good man, when 
he does wrong, commits a big sin ; while you and I only does 
dozens of little ones : and them that sticks by the truth in general, 
if they happens to tell a lie, faith I then, it's a wonderful big one ; 
— ^and, may be, so is Mick's story ; — ^but you'll judge for yourself, 
when you hear it. But don't forget the honesty of Mick's tongue ; 
and bear in mind too, that we shouldn't disbelieve anything 
simply because it's out of the way to us, and we never saw the 
likes of it ourselves ; for there's so many strange things in the 
world, that one don't know what to disbelieve ; and of all the 
wonderful things I ever heard of, there's none seems to me so 
very wonderful as this, namely : — ^I exist, and I know it. Now 
for Mick's story : — 

*^ One day," says he, ^' as I was out shooting on the black 
rocks, I clambered up to a place where I never was before ; and I 
don't think man had set foot upon it till then : it was higher than 
you'd think, looking up from the sea, which washed the foot of it ; 
for the great crag itself, which none of us can climb, — ^I mane that 
one where the eagle's nist is, — seemed^to be below it. Well, thinks 
I, when I got to the top, I'll have a good pelt at the birds from 
this, I'm sure : but no, I couldn't ; for though they were flying 
round and round it, divil a one would come within gun-shot, but 
kipt going about, and going about, until the head o' me wint 
round wid looking at them, and I began to feel sick, for Pd 
oome out before breakfast, not intinding to stay long ; but some- 
how, I wint further and further, and, at last, the sun was going 
down, and me there, where I tould you I was, a-top of the big 
crag. ^ Michael,' says I to meeself, *■ it's time for you to be going 



THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 189 

too, for the birds won't oome near you ; and you're hungry, boy, 
— flo you are, Mick ; you can*t deny that.* And it's true thin I 
couldn't ; for I never was hungrier in my life, than I was that 
time, and sorrow the thing in my pocket softer than a flint. 
Wellt thin I began to go down ; but before Pd got twinty steps, 
what do you think I saw there, upon the bare rock, where 
nobody seemed to have been before me, near upon half a day's 
journey higher than the sea, — ^what, I say, do you think I saw, 
lying before me there ?-*-You wouldn't guess in a year. Why 
thin it was an oysther ! — ^I started, as though a ghost had come 
Boroas me : — and why wouldn't I ? — for Td no right to expect to 
see such a thing as an oysther there, you know, had I? — ^Thinks 
I, after awhile, ^ Here's a fine mouthful for you, Mick, if it's only 
fipesh ; but, may be, it's been here these thousand years. — ^Eh, 
thin, Mick I but you're lucky, so you are, if it should be ateable.* 

"' Sitting down on the rock, I put out my hand to get a hould 
of it, whin what does it do, but lifts up its shell of its ownself ! — 
and there was something inside it, just like an oysther, you'd think ; 
but whin you looked doser, what was it thin, but a small dwarf 
of a man, wid a beard, and a little broad belly, and two short, 
fiit, little darlings of legs, and his both hands in his breeches 
pockets ; quite at home, and as aisy as you or Pd be in our arm 
chair, if we had one. 

** ' Pm glad to see you, Mick,' says he ; ' it's long Pve been 
expecting you.' 

" Now, there's many that would have run away, and broke 
their necks down the rock, at hearing the crature call tbem by 
then: names, and say this ; but Pm one that never feared Banshee 
Lepreghaun, or any one of the little people, good, bad, or indif- 
ferent ; — ^why should I ? — So I pulled off my hat, and making a 
leg to him, — ^ Sir,' says I, ' if Pd known as much, Pd have come 
before.' 

" * Thank you kindly, Mick Maguire,* says he. ' No thanks to 
me thin, at all at all,' thinks I, *' if you knew what I know : ' for 
I was determined to devour him, if he was ateable. ' And it's by 
my own name you call me, sir,' says I, ' is it ? ' 

" * To be sure it is,' says he ; you wouldn't have me call you 
out of your name, — ^would you ?' — ^And thin he fell laughing, as 
though his little face would have tumbled to pieces : and, faith I of 
all the faces I ever set eyes on, I never saw the likes of his for a 
roguish look. — 'You wouldn't have me call you out of your name, 
would you, Mick ?' says he again. 



190 THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 

ii * Why, thin, no I wouldn't, and that's truth,' says I ; * but 
what's your own name ? Pd like to know, so I would,' says L 

" ' I dare say you would,' says he. 

" * And after that,' says I, 'I'd be glad if you'd tell me a small 
trifle about yourself, and how you Hye in your Httle house there, 
whin you shut down the roof of it ; and thin — * 

'* ' Bad manners to you Mick,' says he; * don't be prying into a 
person's domestic arrangements.' — ^Them were his words. * Mind 
your own business,' says he ; * and ax me no questions about mee- 
self; for, may be, I won't answer them.* 

'^ *■ But, sir,' says I, thinking to get all I could out of him, be- 
fore I ate him ; ' sir,' says I, * it isn't every day one sees, betuxt a 
pair of oysther-shells — * 

" ' Oh ! Mick I ' says he, * there's more out o' the way things 
than meeself, in the sea.' 

" * I shouldn't wonder, sir,* says I. 

" ' There is, Mick,* says he ; ' take my word for it.' 

" ' Tm sure of it, sir,* says I ; * and yet people says there*8 
no mermaids even : now meeself saw one once, and she'd a 
fish's tail, and big fins below ; and above she was as like a man, 
as one brogue is like another. Kow, sir, Pd like to know your 
opinion.' 

"'Mick,' says he; 'was it in the bay yourself saw the 
mermaid?' 

" ' Faith ! and it was,' says I. 

" ' Just four years ago,' says he, ' Mick ?' 

" ' Just,' says I ; ' come St. Breedien's day ; for it was the 
very week Jimmy Gorman was drowned, so it was : his wife 
married Tim Carroll, tin months after his wake, — ^for we waked 
Jimmy, though he wasn't at home, and drank long life to our 
absent friend, in the pitcher o' pothien he left in the cupboard, — 
so we did: — and she has now three children, by Tim; and 
Maurien, the little one, is two months ould, barring a week, or 
thereaway ; and three nines is twinty-siven, and tin is tin more, 
— that's thirty-siven, and three months betuxt and betime each 
o' the children, makes nine more, that's forty-six : thin there^s 
Maurien, she's two months ould, as I said ; so that, taking them 
together, there's forty-eight months, one up or one down, and that 
many months is four years : — so that, by the rules of multiplica- 
tion and population, Jimmy's dead four years— don't you see ? ' 

" ' Arrah I don't be preaching,' says he ; ' sure, meeself knevr 
Jimmy well.' 



ii 



THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 191 

'' * Ah ! and is it yourself?* says I; ' and was he on visiting 
terms wid ye ?' 

'^ ^ I knew him better than ever you did in your life, Mick,* 
says he. 

" ' Kot a bit of it,* says I ; * did you ever spend your money 
wid him, like meeself, at the sheebeen-house ?-— or at the pattam 
there above, with the penny-whiff woman P Did you ever once 
trate him to a glass o* whiskey, sir P' says I ; — * not yourself, in 
'Starch.' 

' '■*' * Mick,* 8a3rB he, * Jimmy and I lay in one bed for seven 
months* 

"'In one bed!' 

" ' Yes.* 

* In a bed of oysthers, may be ! ' 

* It was,* says he. 
' Oh ! thin, wdl and good, sir,* says I ; ' but what has Jimmy 

to do with the mermaid ? ' 

** ' Mick,' says he, ' the mermaid yourself saw below in the 
bay was him.* 

** ' Is it Jim P — And now I recollect — ^what's as true as that my 
daddy Jack's a corpse, — ^the mermaid, sure enough, had a carrotty 
pole, and two whiskers, and a big jacket, to say nothing of the 
bradien, though they wouldn't believe me,-H30 they wouldn't ; 
but betuxt ourselves, sir, by this pipe in my fist, she was dacently 
clothed as meeself, barring the breeches. Oh I thin, divil a saw 
saw I of breeches about her ; and her legs, — ^sure, and wasn't her 
legs a fish P and didh't meeself say so P' 

tt t Yery well, Mick,' says he ; ' TU explain it to you : — a big 
blackguard of a shark, that was on a travelling tour, happened to 
be going that way when Jim's boat was upset, and gobbled him 
up just as he got into the water : but, lo and behould ! whin 
he*d got Jim's legs down his throat, and came to his bradien 
and big belly, divil a swallow could the shark swallow him : — 
and there Jim stuck so fast, that if the shark had taken fifty 
emetics before-hand, he couldn't have cast him up. — ^With that, 
Jim, finding his situation unpleasant, began to kick; and the 
shark, with that, tickled Jim's ribs with his teeth; but he 
couldn't bite clane through his big coat, — and the more Jim 
kicked, the more the shark tickled him ; and up they wint, and 
down they wint ; and my belief is, that Jim would have bate him, 
but the fish got suffocated, and sunk, just as Jim was gitting a pull 
at the whiskey-bottle, which he carried in his side pouch ; and 



192 THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 

down they wint together, so sadden, that Jim, taken xip as he 
was with the taste of the cratnre, didn*t know he was drowned 
till they were both at the bottom.* 

u i ^3g jinuny and the shark, the mermaid meeself saw 
thin P * says I. 

" ' They was, Mick/ 

^ * Thin bad luck to the pair o' them,* says I, * for two im- 
postors ! — And how did your honour know this P * 

"* Wasn't I in the shark's belly all the time?' says he. — 
* Didn't he gobble me up with a salmon, that tried to take refuge 
in the place where meeself and a few friends laid tin days before ? 
— A lobsther lived in Jim's pocket for a month ; and he and all 
his family used to go out three days a week to pull Jim's nose, 
for fishing up two of their cousins once, — so they did. — Td thank 
ye A>r a pinch of snuff.' 

'* *' And welcome, sir,* says I, houlding over the snisheen ; 
^ meeself likes to hear news of my friends, sir,' says I ; * would 
your honour plaze to take a shaugh o' the doothien too P * And 
politeness, you know, made me offer him the pipe. 

^' * Mick,' says he ; ^ is it meeself, or the likes o' me, that 
smokes ? — I never took a goll o' the peepa in all my life : — and 
over and above that, Mick, I'd feel mightily obliged to you, if 
you'd blow your smoke higher, or be just ginteel and agreeable 
enough to sit the other side o' me : if you don't, you're a dirty 
blackguard, and bad luck to you, sir,' says he; ^for Tve no 
chimney to my house.' With that, I just knocked out the backy 
from the pipe, and tould him, I didn't mind meeself, and Td put 
away smoking at once. 

^^ ' Mick,' says he, * you'd nothing but ashes in your doothien ; 
so the divil's thanks to you I ' 

'^ ^ Sir,' says I, not noticing what he said, * that's a mighty nate 
little house you have of your own ; I'd like to know who built it.' 

" ' Faith I thin I did meeself, Mick,' says he ; ' but Td like 
your big finger the better, if it was outside my door.' 

" * Sir,' says I, ' if Pd such a nate little cabin, Td marry Molly 
Malony at once. Doesn't your honour ever think of getting a 
wife ?— or, may be, you're a widower ? ' 

" ' Mick,' says he, ' oysthers don't marry.' 

" ' Ye live mighty like a hermit, in your cell there,' says I. 

** ' Mighty like,' says he. 

" ' I suppose, you have your beads too, and you count them,' 
says I. 



THB NATITS AND THE ODD FI8R. 193 

*^ *I Boppose I don*t,* says he ; ^ for Tre but one.* 

** * Troth, and that's a thumper thin,* says I, peeping into his 
little parlour : and there, sure enough, was a pearl big enough to 
be the making of me, and all the seed and breed of me, past, 
present, and to come, hanging by a bit of sea-weed round his 
neck. 

"• * Do you know what, lifick P* says he ; Pm sick o* the world, 
Mick ; and I'm half inclined to giye you lave to ate me.* 

'* ^ Sir,' says I, taking off my hat, * Tm much obliged to you for 
nothing at aJl. It's meeself manes to ate your honour, with or 
without lave, — so I do.' 

"'Is it yourself, Mick?* 

" ' Faith I and it is thin, — ^though I say it ; for Pm hui^gry : 
— and, after that, I mane to take the big pearl, I see there about 
your neck.' 

'' ' Mick, you're a reprobate ! — Sure, you would'nt be so un- 
genteel, as to ate a gentleman against his own inclination, 
would you?' 

" ' Meeself would thin, and think it no sin, in case the gentle- 
man was a plump little oysther, like your honour.' 

'' ' Then, Mick, I wish you good evening I ' 

" ' Oh, joy ! ' says I, seeing how he was going to shut himself 
in ; ' it's of no use, sir, to do so : — ^Pre a knife in my pocket, and 
it's not burglary in this country to break into the house of an 
oysther.' 

" ' Mick,* says he ; ' an oysther's house is his castle.' 

"'Castle I' says I; 'is it a castle? — two shells, with a little 
face in the middle o' them, a castle ? — Thin what's my cabin be- 
low but a palace ? ' 

" ' A pig's palace, it is, Mick,' says he. 

" ' Musha I bad luck thin,' says I, ' to every bit of you — ^ 

'"Ah I Mick,' says he, interrupting me, ' if I was half your 
size, Pd bate you blue, so I would. — ^You're a dirty cur, and so 
was your father before you.' 

"'Say that again,' says I; ^say my father was a cur, sir, 
again, and Pd be obliged to you : — -just say it now, and see how 
\^oon I'll break every bone in your skin.' 

" ' Bone ! ' says he ; ' sorrow the bit of bone is in me at all ! * 
says he. — * Do you know anything of anatomy, Mick ? ' 

" ' An atomy I— that's a thing smaller than a mite, isn't it ? * 

" ' Arrah I no, man : don't you know what nerves and muscles 
manes?* 



194 THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 

"'Nerres meeself knows little about; but is it mascles? 
Och ! thin, didn't I get a bag-fuU below on the beach, this day 
se'nnight ? Tell me, sir, if you plaze,— is a muscle any relation to 
your honour ?* 

" ' Ah 1 Mick,* says he ; * would you insult me ?— sure we trace 
our pedigree up to the days of King Fergus ; and the muscles 
wasn't known for whole ages after : they're fishes of yesterday, — 
mushrooms o' the ocean :— d — n the one o*thim knows whether 
or no he ever had a great-grandmother I— Mick, this is a bad up- 
start world we live in/ 

" ' It is,* says I ; ' people thinks o' nobody but just their 
ownselves ; and doesn't mind what inconvaniency they puts their 
fellow-cratures to, so as they ar'n't harried thimselves/ 

** ' True,' says he, ' Mick : — did you ever rade o' the 
Romans ? ' 

" ' Pm a Roman meeself, sir.' 

" * Phugh ! ' says he ; ' it's of rulligion ye're spaking ! — 
I mane the ould Romans, — ^Romulus and Rebus, — Brutus and 
Brian Boru, — that sacrificed themselves for the good of their 
country : — ^thim's the examples we ought to follow, Mick ! We 
should help our fellow-cratures too, in necessity, if it lies in our 
power ; and not stand, shilly-shally, thinking and turning it over 
whether it will be to our advantage or not.' 

"'•Sir,* says I, 'your honour spakes my own sintimmts; 
and sure never could a finer time come for practising what you 
preach, than now.— Luck up, your honour, — ^luck up, and see 
meeself, a poor fellow-crature, in distress for a mouthful ; — ^Pm a 
part o' my country, and you're an Irishman born, Pll be sworn.* 

" ' Mick,' says he ; ' that's a different sort of a thing, in- 
tirely.' 

" ' Not at all,* says I ; * it's a case in point.' 

"'Well, Mick,' says he; 'thin I will, — I will sacrifice 
meeself.' 

"'And no thanks to you, sir,' says I; 'you know you'd be 
sacrificed by me, whether you sacrificed yourself or no. Ah, ah I ' 

"'Ha, ha I* says he; 'that's true; audit's the way o' the 
world, Mick.* 

" ' And may be, sir,* says I, ' thim Romans yourself spoke 
about—' 

" ' Blarney and humbug, Mick !— blarney and humbug ! — ^They 
did just what Shawn O' Shaugnessy did, while ago,— jump over- 
board to show his bravery, when he knew the ship was sinking.— 



THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 195 

Bat dim*t be in a hurry, Idlck,' says he, seeing me licking my 
lips, and getting nearer him ; — * although, ^fick, I have no wish 
to live ; for an oysther's life is a sad one, Mick/ 

'* ' Ah ! sir," says I, * and so is Mick Maguire^s.* 

^ ^ r ve every wish in the world to travel into all foreign parts.* 

" * And so have I, sir.' 

" *• But a snail's better off than I am. — Can't he take a trip, 
with his house on his back, and look about him whin he likes ?' 

"'That's just my own case,* says I; there's John Carroll, 
the pedlar, takes his pack on his shoulther, and trl^els from 
Cloiimell to Carrick, — ^from Carrick to Stradbally, and all over 
the rest of the world, two or three times a week.* 

" *' Oh ! musha I Mick,* says he, ' don*t grumble ; you*re not 
half 80 bad off as I am : — ^it's tied by the back, I anif to the floor 
of my house, and I can't stir a foot.* 

" ' It isn't much money yourself spinds in brogues and stock- 
ings, thin,* says I. — ' Ah ! thim brogues ates a man out of house 
and home, intirely ! — ^Does your honour know one Darby Walsh, 
a brogue-maker ? * 

" * No, I don't.* 

" ' Then, mark this, sir,' says I ; *if ever you shake the fist of 
him, you'll have a rogue in your gripe.* 

** ' I knew one Jack Walsh,' says he, ' at Calcutta ?' 

" * And was your honour ever at Calcutta P' says I. 

" ' I was once, Mick,' says he : ' I wint out in a porpus, who 
very politely gave me an inside place for nothing : but, arrah ! 
Midr, I was obliged to work my way home.' 

"'Did you know one Tiddy Maguire, in the East Indies?' 
says L 

"*No; but I heard talk of him.* 

" * He was a brother of mine, sir ; and though Fve axed every 
body that ever come from thim parts, if they knew one Tiddy 
Maguire, in the East Indies, divil a ha*p'orth o' news could ever 
I get about him before! — ^Will I tell your honour a story about 
Tiddy ? — Sure, I will thin : — Tiddy was a boy that used to be 
given to walking in his sleep ; — ^he'd go miles about, and bring 
home people's little pigs and poultry ; and be all the while 
innocent of theffc— quite intirely,— so he said, any how. Well ! 
to make a long story short, one night Tiddy was awoke by a 
great knock on the head, abroad there in Morty Flynn's back- 
yard, with a sucker from the ould sow's side, in his hand ; — ^how 
it csme there, l^ddy never could give any satisfactory account. 



196 THE NATIVE AND THE ODD FISH. 

Whin he got home,— ' Arrah ! lid,' says I, 'what happened you, 
man P — and who's heen braking the fiioe of yon?' And snre 
enough, the blood was streaming through his hair like a brook 
among underwood. 'Morty Flynn,' says he, 'struck me while 
agoi' ' Arrah I man, and haid you nothing in your hand to defind 
yourself wid?' says L 'Troth ! and I had thin,' says he ; 'but 
what's a sucking-pig in a man's fist to a dung-shovel?* 

" 'But, sir,' says I to the oysther, 'it's high time we should 
be better acquainted :— by your lave, sir,' says I, taking out my 
skean duWi, and a fine knife it was ;— 'by your lave, sir—' 

" ' Luck up, luck up, Mick I ' says he. 

" Meeself lucked up, as he bid me, and the curse of Cromwell 
on the crow that was flying over my head just thin ; — the bird 
was bastely enough to dirt the face o' me ; — down it fell, just thin 
as I lucked up, exactly betuxt my two eyes. I was in a terrible 
rage, you may guess ; but hark to what a fool I was : — ^instid of 
getting my gun, and shooting the blackguard, what did meeself 
do, in the heat of the moment, but pick up the oysther, and away 
wid it at him, thinking to knock a hole in his black coat ! 

" ' Caw I ' says he, sailing off; ' caw-aw !' grinning at me. 

" ' Caw-aw ! ' says the oysther, says he to me too, from a ledge 
o' the rock below me, where he fell ; ' caw-aw, Mick I — more sinse 
and bad luck to ye, Mick ! ' 

" ' Ah ! sir,' says I, putting a good face on the matter, and 
thinking whether or no I could get at him ; — ' ah ! sir,' says I, 
' did you think I'd be bad enough to devour you ? ' 

" ' Faith I you would, Mack,' says he. 

"'Wasn't I polite?' 

" ' Mighty ; and may you break your neck going home, Mick ! 
Tour brother Tiddy was transported in the East Indies ; your 
father wouldn't fi^ht for his faction ; your aunt had a child, that 
was sent to the foundling, at Dublin ; your cousin Jim is a tithe- 
proctor : — ^you're a bad set, egg and bird : — your sister's husband 
is a swaddler ; and your own fietther's mother-in-law's first cousin 
hung a priest, Mick : moreover — * 

" ' Hould your tongue, you villain ! ' says I, levelling my gun 
at him. ' Hould your tongue, or Pll blow you to atoms ! ' 

" ' Who cares for you ? ' says he. ' Didn't you steal the shot 
your gun is loaded wid ? — Answer me that.' 

" 'I will,' says I, pulling the trigger, and knocking his house 
from the ledge, plump into the sea. 

" ' Tve done for you now, ould gentleman, I think,' says L 



THK NATITB AND THB ODD FISH. 197 

" ' No, you haven't, Mick,' sayi be, peeping ont of his shell, 
u be was falling; 'you've done juat what I wanted. A grate 
b^ lord carried me up where you found me ; he couldn't open 
me though, and left me there where I was ; and instid of having 
done for me, you've aint me home, Mick,' Bays he, ' to my own 
bed, you blat^goard; for which Fm mighty ohliged, — and bad 
luck to you, Mick I ' says be, as he sunk in the sea : — and from 
that day to this, meeself never set eyes on the httle man in the 
ojMher-HhetlK,— though it's often I drome about him, and of wbat 
he aud to me above on the crag there." 



TIMBERLEG TOE-TRAP. 

As I mentioned Fierce Yeogh, Vhile ago, when I was UiUxDg 
you of Mick Maguire — ^"twas he gave Mick the gun — ^himself it 
was then — and as I may mention him again two or three times, 
or may be oftener, before I've done telling you of my ^NTeigh- 
bours, m just let you know a little who and what Pierce was. 
At three-and-twenty, he came into a fine fortune ; his father died 
then ; he'd neither chick nor child but Pierce, and a fine boy he 
was, but too wild from his cradle to come to much good, 'twas 
thought. The father was a miserly curmudgeon in many 
things, and wouldn't live among us much ; but kept Pierce here, 
with a private tutor and a few people, as long as Pierce would let 
him : but when the boy grew big, he'd no mind to be staying at 
home all his days, — and no blame to him, — so he wint off; and 
the father came back then, and lived at The Beg, — so we call his 
place, — ^till he died. 

Many's the tale they tell of ould James Veogh ; — ^how he'd 
give a feast fit for a prince, once now and then, just ta make the 
great Mka in Dublin have an idea of his wealth, and what not, 
and then whip the cat for a year after, to make ixp for it. No> 
man was prouder ; and it's thought he was wrong in cooping up 
Pierce at home all his young days ; — but that's no matter for my 
meddling. And it's said, his heart grudged the expense of main- 
tainiog Pierce abroad in the world, like the rest of the young 
sirs ; and his pride wouldn't let his only son and heir be looked 
down upon : so to save both money and pride at once. Pierce 
was a caged bird until he grew up ; — ^then he flew off, and a wild 
flight he had toa 

It's said by his servants, that the Either — and this is one of 
the million stories we have about him — once entertained the 
great lords and ladies at his house, in Dublin, with a fine mas- 
querade, which cost him a mint of money, — ^no doubt it did ; — 
aud there was himself^ in the disguise of the goddess they caU 
Ceres, whose name you have heard before — ^though I hadn*t 
when they first tould me the joke ; — ^and while his guests were 
drinking down wine worth its weight in gold, — and it was all 



TIMBERLEO TOE-THAP. 199 

galore and glory with them, — Jimmy was seen skulking ahout, 
gathering up the scraps, out o* the way o* the strange servants, 
in a thing he carried, they call something that manes in English, 
a horn of plenty. That wasn*t a had joke of him, it's said, hy 
them that knows. But there's no douht, though he'd stoop to 
pick up a farthing, while Pierce would sooner he skimming 
guineas over a pond, ould Jim Yeogh did more real good than 
Fierce did at first ; for he payed aU he owed,— though not a penny 
more, while Fierce often wouldn't —• no, not when he could; 
and he didn't harry the poor tenants for rent, — which couldn't 
he said of Fierce, — ^hut gave them time, though he made them 
pay up at last. And the ould man nerer did harm to any one in 
^e way of pranks, — not when he was a hoy even ; and there's 
more than me recollects his sending Luke Sweeny a cow, when 
the one he had died. — To he sure, the cow he sent wasn't worth 
much ; but he gave Luke a long day to pay for her, and took 
lawful interest only on the price, — ^which was three pounds ten 
shillings, — ^until it was paid. And paid it was, to the day : for 
Luke was as honest a man as ever broke bread, and wouldn't 
harm a mouse, unless he caught the crature nibbling his loaf, — 
and then, what harm ? — My blessing on Luke ! — ^it's many's the 
piggih of nulk we got from him, in the bad times, when he'd a 
right to hould his head higher than he can now, — worse luck I — I 
could tell you a story of Luke, too ; but as you're longing, I dare 
say, to know about Timberleg, I won't baulk you, by giving yoa 
dry bread when you're longing for sweetmeats. Luke's isn't a bad 
story though, for all that ; and Til tell it you, by-and-by, when 
Fve none better left. 

, Fierce, as I said, win* off, nobody knows where but himself; 
and being a wild bird, came into bad hands^ and got plucked ; so 
that, when the father died — and there's some people don't scruple 
to say, Fierce, by his conduct, lent him a spur on the road to the 
grave — ^when he died, I repate, fdl the ready money was ate up by 
paying off post-obits, which Fierce had been giving at the maddest 
rate ever was known. The day before he heard that his ould dad 
was just dying, Fierce was in much distress, and so foolish to boot, 
that he gave some blackguard a bond for five hundred poimds, 
payable a month after his father's death, for nothing in the world 
but a good dinner and oceans of wine, for himself and a friend, 
every day for a week. That's what they call giving a post-obit ; 
and a bad thing it is, as Fierce found. — He just reached home in 



200 TIMBERLEG TOE-TRAP. 

time to get the father^s forgireness ; and when it came to the List, 
a fine sorrow^ parting they made, it*8 said, as one conld wish to 
see ; — for both o' them seemed sorry for the course they'd taken 
in life, and came to a resolution, if they'd their time to go o^er 
again, they'd not act as they had acted : bat that could do no 
good. The father died the same evening; and, by that day 
month, Pierce was pestered to pay up his post-obits. 

There wasn't so much money in hand left by Mr. James 
ye<^h, as Pierce expected ; and many of the poor tenants suf- 
fered ; for he pinched them close, and did what he could to get 
clear o' the world. But all wouldn't do ; and at last the bailiffs 
were after him night and day. It's said, that then it was Pierce 
Yeogh learned to sleep with his eyes open ; — a thing he does to 
this day, though there's no call for it. 

The man that Pierce most feared in the world was one Nick 
Forester, — a bailiff, who lived in the nearest town to The Beg, on 
any side. Nick was a fine tall fellow, — six feet, if not more ; and 
few could match him. He'd a nickname, like most of us, and 
was called " Timberleg ; " why, I need not tell you :— but sup- 
posing you don't guess— it was, because his left leg was a wooden 
one. The other, as most wooden-legged men's are, was as stout 
a bit of material as you'll see anywhere, and Nick was proud of 
it, — as well he might. Though he'd scarce a word to throw to a 
dog, he was as 'cute as a fox, as well as being strong as a lion ; 
and it was few escaped him. Spaking of animals, Nick had a 
dog, that always wint with him, and Nick called him Benjie. 
Benjie was black as coal ; but you wouldn't notice him, for he 
was neither ugly enough to make any one fall into fits at the 
sight of him, nor good-looking enough for you to admire him : — 
he wasn't big or little, good-tempered or cross ;— but middling 
every way. Benjie, though, was of great use to his master : and 
we accounted a man to be clever if he could outwit Nick and his 
dog. But outwitted they certainly were, now and then, though : 
and before I go further, Fll tell you how Nick was served by 
a surgeon by the name of Anderson, that set up in the next 
street to Nick's;— and it's man/s the time Nick nabbed him, 
though you wouldn't think it, to see how great a man Surgeon 
Anderson is at this time. You must know that Nick had a wife, 
and a fine family, too ; and one night a son of his — I think it was 
Jack, that's now married to Thady Purcell's widow— got taken ill 
with something sudden and dangerous : so Nick buckled on his leg 



TIMBERLEG TOE-TRAP. 201 

and threw something over him, and ivint and knocked at Surgeon 
Anderson^s door. This was in the middle of the night : so when 
the suigeon put his head out of window and heard who it was, he 
wouldn^t come down, thinking it was a make-believe of Nick's to 
nab him again. Nick couldn't blame him ; for it*8 true Nick had 
often played tricks to get a sight o' the surgeon, when he wanted 
to take him ; for he was almost a match for Nick himself, and not 
aisUy had. So Nick stumped off to another surgeon, but he was 
out to a man five miles away ; and to a third, but he was sick 
himself; and no one in the wide world could Nick get in the 
'town, to come and see his son, that was almost dying at home 
Back he wint to Surgeon Anderson's again, — so he did ; — and 
after he'd bate the door with his leg a little, the surgeon popped 
out his head, and says he, ^' Who's that below there ?" 
**' It's me," says Nick, mighty civil ; " it's me, sir, again," 
** Oho ! — ^And what story have you now, Nick ? " 
" The same I had 'while ago, sir :— my son's sick — **• 
'' Divil's cure to him, Nick !— for he*s not bad at all, and it's 
only a trick of yours to delude me." 

" Upon my honour and conscience, sir, it isn't," says Nick ; 
"I couldn't get a doctor any where, for I've 'tried, or I wouldn't 
trouble you. It's my belief. Jack will die if you don't come at 



once." 



" Go away," says Surgeon Anderson ; " go away, Nick ; get 
out of that entirely I — Wasn't I sent for last winter, to a gentleman 
at the Koebuck, who had broken his leg ?— and wasn't it yourself 
there, and the dirty bit of stick you stand upon tied up with a 
piece of rope ?— and didn't you capture me that time, you black- 
guard?" 

" I did, I did : Pm sorry for that ; but pray—" 
. ^' And didn't you get a boy to bring me out o' my bed once, to 
a woman he said was at death's door P— and didn't I go, Nick ?" 

" You did, you did." 

^^ Ah 1 you facetious rogue ! I know you're laughing at me 
now if I could see you: — ^and who should I meet, at the corner 
of the street, but your own sweet sel^ waiting for me ?— And 
didn't you show me. a woman lying asleep and drunk at the door 
of little Paddy Death, that keeps the whiskey shop, in Patrick 
street? — and, says you, with a grin, 'There's the woman at 
Death's door I '—didn't you, Nick ? " 

^ I know I did ; but as Pm a living soul, sir—" 

o 



202 TIMBERLEO TOE-TRAP. 

" Go away, Nick ;— go home and read the story of the hoy 
and the wolf; and if harm happens your son, as it did him, ifs 
your own doings, Kick I so good night I ^r Fm not to he had,— 
don't you see?'* 

With that he shut the window, and wouldn't come ; hut, as 
luck would have it, when Timherleg got home, Jack was hetter, 
and didn't want physic till morning. It's often Nick threatened 
Surgeon Anderson, hut he never had the luck to get him again ; 
for when the surgeon heard that Nick's story was true, and was 
told of his threats, some say he strove hand and foot to keep out 
of Nick's clutches for fear, and so got on in the world ;— dating his 
rise from the night Jack Forester wanted physic, and he wouldn't 
get up to give it him. 

But we mustn't forget Pierce Veogh,— though 'tisn't he is my 
hero exactly, hut Timherleg ;— still I can't go on without him, 
no more than the man in the hook could play on the organ hut 
for the hoy that hlowed the hellows. Well, Pierce, as I tould 
you, had the hailiffs ahout for him ;— and as Timherleg seemed 
to have taken up his ahode hy The Beg,— which was Pierce's 
place, youll recollect,— why. Pierce thought he couldn't do hetter 
than sneak off, if he could, to the town Nick came from, and 
stay there for a day or two : for Pierce was trying his utmost to 
raise money, and hoped to receive letters, post after post, to tell 
him things were settled ; and a day's delay was worth everything 
to him ; — to say nothing of the horror he felt, in common with 
most of us, to being shut up between four walls. — Not that a 
prison, when you're used to it, is the worst place in the world 
perhaps ; for I know a man that hated the name of it, and after 
he got into one at last, he liked it so well, that when he could, he 
wouldn't come out of it, but turned turnkey, and kept his post 
behind the gate, with the key in his hand, doing nothing hut 
opening and shutting the door, and never stirring out of the place, 
which had grown a world to him, till death came one day, and 
removed him to closer confinement within six boards, muled 
together,— and that manes a coffin. — Now, a coffin's a thing, allow 
me to remark, that we all hate the sight of; and yet there's not 
one in ten thousand of us but hopes to come to it at last ; — ^for 
who'd like to be buried any way but in a box ? — ^And that's a 
feeling that's laughable to one who looks two inches below the 
surface of things ; for what is it, but a fear of letting the cold 
clay come to us for a few years ? — And come it will, you know, 



TIMBBRLEQ TOE-TRAP. 208 

at last, whedier a man's buried in a lai^ 'sheet of paper, a big 
hollow stone, or a lead coffin. And what matters time to the dead ? 
— Or Where's the difference, let me ask, between two minutes and 
twenty thousand years, to them that's under the turf P — ^Do what 
we will, the blackguard worms ates us all up at last ; and they 
that takes pains to preserve their bodies, don't do well, as I think : 
for, while all that remains of me, after being buried in a dacent 
and ordinaiy way, some time hence, becomes a part of the big 
earth, and can't be distinguished from what it's mixed up with, — 
the visible and touchable nose of a pickled emperor, a thousand 
years after he's dead, gets pulled by some puppy that opens his 
grave, and don't happen to approve of what he did when alive : 
or, what's worse, the bones of the arm that awed multitudes, gets 
cut into drunken men's dominoe ; or the boys and girls of a tenth 
.generation plays with them for sugar-plums, in the shape of two 
a-penny tetotums, and so forth. Therefore, let me, when I die, 
have no armour about me ; let the worms come, and good luck 
to them, say I ;--the sooner they walk away with every inch of 
me, the better. 

But we'll never get through at this rate ; and such grave dis- 
course as Pve led myself into, turns the edge of one's appetite for 
fun, — doesn't it P — But, na hocklish^ — ^forget what Pve said, and 
listen to what Fierce Yeogh did. Like the goose that took refuge 
near the fox's den, when the fox himself was watching for her 
near her nest. Pierce got away one night, and wint off to the 
town : there he remained in great safety for some days, as Tim- 
berleg didn't know he'd escaped, and so wouldn't raise the legal 
siege of The Beg House, — ^why should he ? 

Ko letters came ; and, at last. Pierce determined to get away 
altogether, and cut the country for a time, if he could : so one 
morning, at day-break, he left the little lodgings he had hired for 
the sake of being private, and was walking off, the nearest way 
out of town, when just as he came within five feet of a comer, 
what should he see but Nick Forester's dog,— the dog I described 
to you, that was always a few feet before, or oftener a yard or so 
behind, Nick himself. — " Oho ! " says Pierce, turning back and 
taking to his heels ; for well enough he knew the dog :— it's him- 
self that did then ; — ^for oflen he saw him, bating round The Beg, 
and Nick not far behind him. " Oho ! " says he ; and " Bow- 
wow I " says the dog ; and " My grief ! " says Timberleg, who just 
then came round the comer, and saw the young legs of Pierce 

o 2 



204 TIMBERLEO TOE-TRAP. 

carryiDg hixD off five miles an hour faster than Nick could run. 
Nick wasn't fool enough to go after Pierce ; — ^no, no, — not he, 
then ! He turned on his heel, and walked back the way he 
came, — giving the game up for lost, out-and-out ; and he struck 
his dog Benjie two or three times, with his leg, for not keeping 
to his heel. 

Now what did Pierce do, think you ? — ^Why, he ran as if he'd 
everything fearful behind him, and fancied he heard the stump 
of Nick's wooden leg keeping time with the gallop of his own 
pulse. Kunning seemed to be safety to him, no matter which 
way he ran ; for "if Timberleg and Benjie's behind me, it mat- 
ters not what's before me, so that the way's clear," thinks he ; — 
or rather, he didn't think at all, but wint on, and you'll hear how 
it ended. 

By-and-by, Pierce came to a comer again, with one leg before 
and the other behind him, as if he'd little Powsett's seven-leagued 
boots on ; or, to spake within compass, the foot that was forward 
the whole length of his leg more advanced than his body. Now 
here's the point of my story : — Nick Forester was much nearer 
Pierce than Pierce expected ; to spake out at once, he was close 
to the comer, only the other side of it ; «nd, as one may say, in 
a right direction to cross his course. Well, just as Pierce had 
put his foot that was forward to the ground, about four inches 
beyond the comer, Nick Forester, quite unconscious of his good 
luck, was, at that instant, going to put his timber-toe on the flags 
in a transverse direction. Down it came, pat upon Pierce's foot ; 
the whole weight of Nick's body followed directly after ; and the 
next moment, Pierce found himself within an inch and a half of 
Nick's nose, staring his enemy full in the face, who looked quite 
as wonder-struck, but not half so grievous, as himself; for the 
end of Nick's leg covered a couple of Pierce's worst corns. 

This wasn't the first time in the world a man ran into the 
lion's mouth. Nick put out his paw upon Pierce, and from that 
day» people called him " Timberleg Toe-Trap." 

Pierce lay in Nick's custody for above a month ; he then got 
out by scraping together all he could, and flew off to England for 
safety : but it was just out of the frying-pan into the fire with 
him ; for, — though a man's good deeds have wings of lead, or just 
none at all, and travel like the tortoise, — such things as make 
against him, go at the rate of twelve knots an hour, to every 
point of the compass at once ; or, at least, to all the points he 



TIUBEBLEO TOE-TRAP. SOS 

wooldm't have ttiem go, if he could help it ; and, bj this rule, 
the newB of Pierce's being taken for debt by Timberl^, got to 
England, before he reached it himself ; and he vasn't well landed 
and recoTered from bb sea-ucknesB, when one of bis crediton 
had a bailiff to give him a grip by the ahoulder. As soon aa 
a man gets claned, long bills generallj come pouring in upon 
him fTxim all quarters :— it was just this way with Fierce ; and hi» 
prospects in perspective were almost bb unpleasant aa his enemies 
could wish. Well leave bim now though, if you please; and 111 
tell yon what more happened him by-and-by, and how it all 
ended ; if you don't fall asleep, and by your snoring, give me a 
hint that it isn't quite SO entertaining you find me, as may be I 
think yoa ought. But, well see. 



BAT BOROa 

Ir you're passing at early moming, above there, beyond The 
Glaugh, you may see Bat, with his back leaning against Mick 
Maguire's door,~-'ti8 there where he lodges, — smoking his pipe, 
and looking out under his eye-brows at you, as fierce as a 
grenadier at a Frenchman. There's nothing warlike about Bat 
but braggadocio, and a cut across his chin,— barring that he's 
wasted and worn, you'd think ; for his broad shouldeis seem to 
have been better covered with flesh one day than they now are. 
When he condescends to spake to any of us, Bat talks of the 
wars, as though he'd been in them ; and says he has wounds 
besides that one on his chin, but they're under his clothes ; and 
then he gives a bit of a cough, and says he's asthmatic, and 
might catch harm if he stripped himself to shew them. So that 
nobody has seen Bat's wounds but himself; but no doubt he has 
many of them ; though, to be sure, that on his chin looks as 
though it was done by the blunt razor of a barber, rather than a 
grenadier's baggonet, or a dragoon's sabre. However, all's one 
for that. 

Bat's too high and mighty to be much liked by the people 
about ; and a boy says he peeped in at a hole in the cabin one day, 
and saw something on Bat's back, that looked as if the military 
cat had been scratching it. But doesn't the boy play the rogue 
now and then ? — ^Faith I he does ; and, may be. Bat is belied by 
him. How the blade lives, nobody knows ; nor why he came 
here to this place, which is at the very back of God's speed, we 
can't say. May be, he's a pensioner :— why not P— And, may be 
too, as some think, he's a native of these parts, and one of the 
sons of that same ould Dick Boroo, who lived in a cabin on the 
very same spot where ACck Maguire's now stands. Dick wint to 
the dogs, long ago, and he and the whole seed and breed of him 
run the country ; and nobody has seen a ha'p'orth of them since ; 
except this is one o' them, come here after the wars, to bluster 
away, where he used to be beaten ; and die one day where he 
first drew breath. 

Bat won't own he's a Boroo ; but we all call him that name 



BAT BOROO. 207 

in the face of him ; and when he goes off,— what will they write 
on the stone by his grave, if he gets one, think you ? — ^Why, then, 
*' Here lies Bat Boroo, who died of doing nothing." 

And, faith ! it's nothing he does, but walk about like a half- 
sir as he is, — smokiQg his pipe the whole blessed morning, for 
the sake, he says, of getting himself an appetite for dinner. But 
he needn't take the trouble ; for it's just as needless, in my mind, 
as whistling to the sea, when the tide's coming in ; and come it 
will, like Bat's appetite, whether you whistle or no, devouring 
almost everything in its way. Without a word of a lie, Bat's the 
biggest eater in all the barony, and the biggest brag,— that is, 
he was, — ^to the taQ o' that. But, poor fellow I he don't know his 
ioiirmity; and thinks his appetite a sign of weakness, instead 
of sound health : it's the only living thing he takes on about. 
"• There's nothing, Jimmy Fitzgerald," says he, to me, one day ; 
'*there*s nothing, in the universal world, I can keep on my 
stomach, — ^bad luck to the bit !— for if I ate half a rack of mutton, 
with peeathees and milk, or a pound of pig's face, or eight or ten 
red herrings, for my breakfast,— it's hungry I am, in an hour or 
two again, as though nothing had happened to me that day in the 
way of provision."— What think you of that for digestion ? 

There's three things Bat thinks about, and that's all :— first, 
his belly ;~-«econdly, making believe he's not to be frightened, by 
man or beast, nor even the good people that lives in the moats, 
and frolics away all night on the heath, and goes to bed in the 
butter-cups and daisies— it's a wonder to some they've played no 
tricks with him yet ;— and lastly, that he has much better blood 
in his body than the people about him. 

Now rU tell you what happened Bat. '"VVliile ago,— three or 
four years back, — ^we'd a cunning woman came here, — and it's but 
little she got, — how would she, when there was little to give ? — 
it was going to a goat's house to look for wool : and plenty of 
bad luck she prophesied, for nobody had enough to pay for better. 
Some of it came true enough ; and if she spoke truth, there's more 
mischief behind. She said to me, Fd have my roof down ; but 
if 8 safe yet, for I trusted in Providence, and put a new beam 
across it the week after she wint. At last, when she'd tould a 
power of ill-tidings to many, and no one would go near her for 
fear, and she'd stood by the abbey- wall for a long hour, waiting 
for customers, with the people,— men, women, and children, — 
making a circle about her, who should come up but Misther Bat 



2C8 BAT BOROO. 

Boroo, just after taking a good dinner with Paddy Doolan ?-— 
" What's the murther here ? " says he. So they up and tould him, 
that nohody dared to have their fates from the cunning- woman. 

This was a windfall for Bat, — a glorious occasion for making 
much of himself. Up he marched to the woman, as though he 
was going to attack an entrenchment, and crossing her ould yellow 
hand with the copper,— the best his pocket could afford, — he de- 
sired she'd say what would happen him. " Speak bouldly," says 
he, " for Bat Muggleburgh isn't the man that's to be frightened 
by a bulrush." 

" Man," says she, looking up to him, " you've been a 
soldier." 

"What then?" says he. 

" Here's a line in your hand," — says she, " a line which tells 
me, that before another year has gone over your head, you'll be 
more frightened by a bulrush than ever you was by a baggonet ; 
— and that's saying much." 

Bat bullied her, but bit his lip for vexation ; and, by-and-by, 
you'll hear how he got on, and what came of the cunning- woman's 
foreboding. But wait a little, for I'm before my story, and must go 
back. — You heard me say, Bat called himself by the name of Bat 
Muggleburgh, awhile ago ; and so he did : for, as I tould you, he 
denied the name of Boroo, because he said he'd no call to it ; and 
that Muggleburgh was what he'd a right to, — ^and he'd own to it, 
and nothing else. Now, all this may be true enough ; Bat's name 
may be Muggleburgh, and he Dick Boroo's son for all that : — for 
did any one ever know, or take the trouble to inquire, what was 
ould Dick's rale name — if he had one — ^besides Dick ? — Boroo was 
a nick-name he got for some saying or prank, that was part by 
and forgotten entirely in my time, though the name still stuck to 
him. He wasn't an Irishman ; but where he came from, — except 
he was a bit of a Dutch smuggler or something in his young 
days, — myself neither knows nor cares. 

It's often he brags, — Bat does, — of the brave coat of arms 
that belongs to him, if he had his rights ; and what great men the 
Muggleburghs was in times gone by. But that's no matter at all : 
—there's ar regular descendant of the honourable kings of Meath 
sells butter at Cashel, and is as big a rogue as one here and 
there. I myself came from a fine family by my mother's side ; 
but what's all the famous blood of her ancestors now ? — One of 
the grandfathers of the worm you trod on o' Monday, had some 



BAT Boaoo. 209 

of tke best of it ; and for my own part, I don't yahie that of 
great Bryan himfielf a rush and a half : but my mother didn't 
think so, poor thing, — rest her soul ! 

Well, by this time, you must be pretty well acquainted with 
Bat,— and, may be, tired of him; but wait till you hear what 
happened him.~-Many months, but not a year, after Bat had his 
fortune tould in the manner I mentioned, we'd a poor scholar — a 
stripling of sixteen or so— with us here, for two, or it might be, 
three days, at the most. GUxxl luck follow him ! He was a lad 
we all loved, high and low, — ^and it's not very high the best of 
us is, sure enough,— for the boy behaved beautifully, though he'd 
a spice of the wag in him. — And why not P — wasn't he young P — 
and isn't young days the best of days with us ? And if we ar'n't 
merry then, when will we, Td like to know ? 

Bat didn't like the poor scholar, and used to abuse him, 
because he convinced us all he knew more of the geography of 
foreign parts than Bat, who had been among them, as he said. 
And the night before the lad left us. Bat threatened to baste him, 
for smiling while he was preaching about the Muggleburgh arms, 
and bewailing the state of his digestive organs : and he would 
too, if it was not for this crutch of mine, and Mick Maguire's 
gun, and the piper of Drogheda's wooden leg, and one or two 
other impediments ; — ^not to mention a feeling of goodness that 
came over him then in the poor scholar's favour ; — for if Bat's a 
bully and a cormorant, he hasn't a bad heart, when all comes to 
all : — ^but the poor scholar didn't forget it to him. 

The next morning, those who were up, and passed by Bat's 
door before he was awake, saw as fine a coat of arms figured out 
with chalk upon it, as the best of the Muggleburghs, in the 
height of their gloiy,— if ever they had any,— could well wish to 
look upon. And could any one thing suit Bat better P — Faith ! 
then, nothing in the wide world. In the middle, was a dish instead 
of a shield, with a fat goose — Bat's favourite food— quartered 
upon it ; and each side of the dish, what do you think there was, 
but a knife and fork for supporters ; and, to crown all, perched 
upon the top was a twaUow, for a crest I Then, at the foot, there 
was a table-doth finely festooned, and words written upon it, by 
way of motto, which ran thus: — "Boaoo edax rerum" I re- 
member them very well : first, there was Boboo ; then came the 
name of my lady's steward, Misther Dax, with a little e before 
it; — then, after a blank, followed a re; and it ended, like a 



210 BAT BOROO. 

slave-driver's dinner, with rum: — Boboo edtix rerum ; — signi- 
fying, as the worthy coadjutor informed us, that Bat, like ould 
father Time, who takes a tower for his lunch, find a city for his 
supper, was a devourer of all things. The hand that can draw 
could make its master understood, where the tongue that spakes 
seven languages couldn't do a ha'p'orth; or so thinks Jimmy 
Fitzgerald,— that's me. Now, though we couldn't make out the 
motto, all of us down to the hoys themselves knew what the 
figures of the goose, and the swallow, and so forth, stood for ; and 
great was the shouting :— but Bat had a glass in his head, and 
didn't wake. 

By-and-by, down he came with the pipe in his mouth ; and, 
suspecting nothing at all, shut the door after him, and leaned his 
back against it as usual. When his backy was smoked, he threw 
away his pipe with an air, and strutted off through the place ; 
and, behold ! there was the chalk from the door on him, and he, 
not knowing it, bearing his arms on his own coat. Will I tell 
you how many boys and girls he had at his tail in ten minutes ? — 
I couldn't, without reckoning every living soul of them, within 
half-a-mile of this, or I would. For a long time. Bat didn't know 
what it was all about, and looked before and both sides of him to 
find out where the fun was, but he couldn't. ^^Look behind 
you ! " says somebody. Bat looked, and there was the boys and 
girls laughing, and that was all : so he wint on again. 

This couldn't last long though. After awhile Bat found out 
what made the boys follow him, as the little birds do the cuckoo ; 
and then his rage wasn't little : — describe it I won't, for I can't ; 
but ril tell you what he did:— he suspected the scholar had 
played him that trick, — ^which was the truth, — and he found out 
which road he took ; and you'll be sorry to hear he soon came 
within sight of his satchel. 

Whether the boy heard Bat blowing and blustering I don't 
know, but he luckily glanced behind him, and seeing Bat and his 
big stick, did what any one in his place would, if he could, — ^put 
a hedge between him and his enemy. Bat followed him, vowing 
vengeance in the shape of a great basting, from one field to 
another ; until, in the end, — he didn't know how,— he found he'd 
lost the boy, and discovered the prudence of taking to his heels 
himself ; for there he was, in the midst of a meadow, and a fine, 
fierce-looking bull making up to him at a fast trot. Seeing this, 
Bat began to make calculations, and perfectly satisfied himself 



BAT BOROO. 211 

that before he could reach the hedge he came over, the bull would 
come up ¥rith him, and, in all probability, attack his rear. Bat 
couldn't very well like this : there wasn't much time for pros and 
cons with him ; so he threw his stick at the beast, and away he 
wint, at a great rate towards a gate he saw in the nearest comer 
of the field. Though the bull wasn't far behind him, he contrived 
to reach and climb up the gate-post without being harmed ;--but, 
musha ! — ^what did he see, think you, when he got there ?— 

If ever man was in a dilemma, it was Bat. The gate led 
into the yard before young Fierce Yeogh's kennel, and just below 
Bat, was a brace of as promising dogs for a bull-bait as you'd like 
to see, trying all they could to get a snap at Bat's leg, that was 
han ging their side of the gate-post. The dogs looked, and really 
were, more furious than usual,— which was needless ;-'for it hap- 
pened to be just at the time when Fierce was away in the side 
custody of Timberleg the bailiff, and they weren't fed in his 
absence quite so regularly as they'd wish. Bat knew this ; and, 
thinks he, they'd make but little bones of a man of my weight, if 
they had me ; — so that it wouldn't have been wise in him to have 
ventured into the yard. The gate wint close up to the garden- wall. 
But there was three impediments to Bat's going that way :— first, 
the gate was well spiked ; next, if he didn't mind that, one of 
the dogs could reach him aisily from the top of their kennel as he 
passed ; thirdly and lastly, if he defied the spikes, and escaped with 
a bite or two, and got to the garden-wall, there was a board, with 
"' steel-traps " and so forth, staring in the face of him. And what 
other way had he of getting off ?— Divil a one but two. One was, 
by dropping into the meadow again ;— «nd that he might do well 
enough, but for the bull, who was bellowing below to get a rush 
at him ; — the other, I think, was jumping off the post into the 
stream, upon the edge of which it was planted. The water wasn't 
wide, but it was deep, and Bat couldn't swim : and there he was, 
depend upon it, in as nice a dilemma as man had need be.—If you 
don't credit what I say, draw a map of his position as he sat on 
the post with the beasts on both sides, the spikes behind, and the 
water before him, and then tell me what you think. 

Bat bellowed, and so did the bull, and the noises vrint for one, 
and the dogs barked, but nobody came. By-and-by Bat saw a 
figure walking along the opposite bank, and who should it be but 
the ould cunning- woman I 

^ Is that yourself Bat P " says she. 



:!12 BAT BOROO. 

" I think it is ;— worse luck ! '* says he. 

** That post of 7OUT8 isn't the pleasantest post in the world I 
think," says she. 

« I think not," says he. 

" Didn't I tell you, Bat—* 

" Bad luck to every bit of you I" says he, interrupting her ; 
^* bad luck to you and your htdl-rtiahes too, and all them that 
plays upon words I I know well enough of what you're going to 
remind me." 

" Bat," says she, " it isn't a year since I — ^ 

" Ah ! now go away," says he ; "go away, now you've had 
your ends, and make up for the mischief, by calling some one to 
tie up the dogs,— or drive away the bull, — or bring a boat, — why 
can't you?" 

The ould woman sat down, and smoked her pipe, and she and 
Bat had a little more confab this way across the stream ; but, at 
last and in long run, he persuaded her to come to us here, and 
tell us how matters stood with Bat, and to beg us to help him off : 
not,— do you mind ? — as I think, out of any humanity to the 
man, but to shew us how truly she'd foretould what was to happen 
him. I don't like her, so m say no good of her, — but this, 
namely, — she gave a poor boy who was upon the shaughran, 
without father or mother, house or home to his head, a penny 
and a blessing, when it's my belief, she'd little more to give. I 
say that, — ^for Td like to give even a certain elderly gentleman, 
whose name I won't mention, his due, — much more a poor ould 
cunning- woman, that's weak flesh and blood, after all's said and 
done (though not a bit too good), like one's ownself. 

Down came the woman, but she found few at home besides 
Mick Maguire, for a'most every mother's son that could move, 
had gone away to get Bat off his predicament before. Mick 
wouldn't go at all ; for, he said, sure he was the bull bore a grudge 
against him, because he threw stones at his head, and bullied 
him once. 

" Ah I but," says somebody, " may be, he wouldn't notice you, 
Mick." 

" May be, he would though," says Mick ; " so it's go I won't." 

" But sure we'll all be wid you, Mick." 

" That matters not," says he ; " for the bull might be ripping 
up ould grievances, and select meeself, out of all of ye, to butt 
and abuse." 



BAT BOBOO. 213 

" Bnt couldn't jou bring jonr gun, man F " 

" I could then, but I woo't," saya Mick ; " for Fm inclined to 
auBpect it wasn't to shoot hu bnll, that Mistber Pierce Yeogh 
gave it me." 

You'll wonder bow they came to know where Bat was, — won't 
yon !— 'Twas tlae poor scholar then, that ducked down in a ditch, 
from the bull on one side, and Bat on the other ; and ailer that, 
saw how Bat got oa with the bull, and came to tell us. So some 
of them wint to Fierce Yeogh's people, and got the doga called 
otr, and down came Bat amonggt them, swearing that if he'd liig 
big stick, — which, he said, he'd dropped he didnt know how,— 
he'd baste the bull any day. 



THE WITCH'S SWITCH. 

Thsbb's nobody dies, but somebody's glad of it ; few people, 
as I think, but have one person standing between them and 
what they look upon as comfort or happiness, or something or 
other they desire, but don't want, for all that, may be. Duck 
Davie was with me yesterday, foaming away like the sea against 
a rock it can't master ; — and what for, think you ? Why, then, 
only because his wife looks so well and won't die to plaze him. 
It's my belief he'd be glad to. be rid of her, though she half keeps 
him, and is loved far and near. She does all the little good she 
can, in the way of nursing the sick, and so forth ; and she saved 
Duck Davie's own life three times, by her knowledge of herbs, 
and the million-and-one ailments of our poor mortal bodies. 

But Duck don't like her ; — rd be spaking what wasn't the truth 
if I said that he did : and why should I tell a lie on Duck Davie f 
— ^I won't on him, or any man if I know it. When he married 
her she was not young,— that is, full thui;y,— but trim and good- 
looking, which is more than could be said of himself any day of 
his life ; for he has a big nob on his face for a nose, and a mouth 
so wide that it would be fearful to look at, if he laughed : but 
Davie is either too discreet or too ill-tempered, morning, noon, and 
night, to be jovial. He drinks, but don't ever get merry over 
his cups : and yet his little grey eyes twinkles, and he puckers the 
wrinkles in great folds about them, and you hear an odd noise in 
his throat sometimes, when he's tould of a trick, that's malicious 
and droll, being played off by the boys on any of the ould women 
he knows. His Imee-bands is always loose, and his big coat 
hitched over his shoulders; he wears red sleeves to his waist- 
coat, with ragged edges that reach to his finger-knuckles ; and 
shoes^-not brogues— but shoes, down at heel. He never takes 
his ould grey hat off his bald head but to pull on his night-cap. 
He's round-shouldered and short, but stout and 8tr(»g for his 
age, which is on the grave side of sixty ; and the fronts of his 
knees is turned in, and they jostle one another ; and his feet are 
broad and flat, with the heels far out and in front, instead of 
being behind ; and this— poor man !— makes him waddle oddly : 



THE witch's switch. 215 

he's none the worse for that though. After this pedigree of his 
appearance, most likely you'd know Duck if you met him. 

I forgot a thing or two in him that's remarkable :^he turns 
his head to and fro eternally, as if he were looking for some 
one, whether he's alone or in company ; and even when his eyes 
twinkles, as I tould you, or if they're sparkling with passion, there's 
something in them all the while that reminds you of a dog's look 
when he knows he has done wrong and expects to he whipped. 

Dayie was tolerably fond of his wife for many long years after 
he'd married her ; but though she does little or nothing to vex 
him, that I know of, Duck don't like her, now she's got ould ;— any 
one with half an eye could see that, if Davie didn't own it him- 
self, which he does. It's the way o' the world, you'll say : a man 
that's passed the prime of life forgets his own wrinkles, though 
those of his wife, that's about the same age as himself, are day 
after day starii^ him in the face ;— he sees her years, but if he 
can walk about, and eat, and get his health two months out of the 
twelve, he won't let himself fiincy he feels his own. That's not 
altogether the case with Davie ; it may be so in part, but not 
entirely ; at least, so thinks them that knows his story. 

From the time he first knew the use of a button, it's said 
Duck Davie had a deep-rooted grudge against ould women ; they 
have always been at war with him, and he with them. Duck 
lost his daddy before he saw the light ; and his mother died when 
he was weaned, or awhile after. She had an ould aunt, who took 
the boy under her wing, and did what she could for him, in her 
way : but, by all accounts, her temper was such that a cat couldn't 
live with her ; and if little Duck Davie's heart was kind as that 
of a lamb by nature, there's no doubt she ruined it ; if it was 
bad before, she couldn't do otherwise than make it worse. A 
more terrible Turk in petticoats, and on a small scale, never 
walked ; but after awhile she got little good of Duck. She 
seemed to live for no other purpose than to vex and thwart and 
make the poor little fellow miserable. There was no soul but the 
boy, to take off the scum and bitterness of her temper ; and, by- 
and-by. Duck began to think of nothing but how to pay off the 
long score he felt he owed her. He should have put up with 
any thing, you may say, and been grateful for her protecting him, 
and ate his crust, though it was sopped in vinegar, with thanks 
and meekness : may be, he ought ; I won't argue it one way or 
another, but simply tell you, he didn't. 



216 THE witch's switch. 

The few acquaintance Buck's grand-aunt had, was folks of her 
own age as well as sex, and haying a spice of her own temper : to 
them she tould all Duck's delinquencies, and they joined her in* 
ahusing him ; and, what was worse, often helped her to helahour. 
him. Little Davie hadn't a disposition to be reclaimed from his 
bad ways by a broomstick ; may be, kindness might have done 
better, but it never was tried on him : so on he wint, &om bad to 
worse, and, by the time he was twelve years ould, hated every 
woman he met who'd a grey head and wrinkled face. He looked 
upon them as his natural enemies, and did all he could to vex 
and perplex them. 

By-and-by, Duck was put out to a tailor ; and he'd done with 
-his grand-aunt, and all other ould women, for ever, as he hoped. 
But, no ; — when he got to his master's house, which he never 
entered till he was bound, little Duck discovered that his mistress 
was as crooked vrith age, and almost as crooked in temper as his 
grand-aunt. When her first husband died, she just did what many 
a widow, with a good house and trade left her, has done before 
and sincej—married her foreman. He was a stout, brawny blade, 
having nothing but his needle to depend upon, but good-looking, 
and not above thirty. 

In the second year of Duck's apprenticeship, a mighty re- 
markable event happened him ; and Til tell you what it was pre- 
sently, if you'll wait. He behaved himself, and liked the place, 
and his fellow-'prentices, and his master too, for many months. 
Ould Alice, his mistress, was no sourer with him than with the 
others, all this time : but at last she began to single him out — 
just as he'd feared she would—as a natural prey to one of her 
age and sex. She used him, by degrees, worse and worse, until 
Duck convinced himself he was bound in justice to them feelings 
he had of his own, to turn upon her, when he could slyly, and 
annoy her as often as an opportunity for doing so, without danger, 
occurred. At length, ould Alice smarted under his malicious 
tricks to such a degree that she grew a fiiry almost ; and the 
worse she behaved to him, the worse he behaved to her :— for 
Duck was always obstinate. He'd bad luck though, to meet with 
such a match for his grand-aunt as ould Alice ; hadn't he ? — Now 
for the event I promised to tell you about. 

One day. Duck was sent on an errand by his mistress, but 
instead of getting back quick, as she wished him, though he knew 
she was just standing on thorns till he got home to tell her what 



THE witch's switch. 217 

was said to her message, what does he do hut turn away out of 
the road into a field, to pick thistles to put in her bed, the next 
time he might think fit to be offended. — In one comer of the field 
.was a big hollow tree, — an oak, I believe, but it don't matter, — 
and under it lay an ould woman : her brown skinny arms were 
half covered with a ragged cloak, and her face was partly hid by a 
few straggling grey locks of hair, which had escaped from under 
her bonnet. Instinct made Duck approach, and when he got 
near the tree, a puff of wind blew up the grey hair, and Duck saw 
that her eyes were closed. Her snoring satisfied hhu that she 
wasn't dead, while it convinced him that she was fast asleep ; 
and his fingers itched to give her a touch of his tormenting 
talents. 

A stick, stuck upright in the ground, close by the ould woman's 
side, attracted Duck Davie's notice, when he got behind the 
tree : ''What's thjs ?" thinks he, examining it, and feeling a little 
afraid or so, at the looks of it ; — and you wouldn't wonder, if 
yon saw it yourself; for they say it was an odd, outlandish staff, 
made of wood that never grew in a Christian land, thick, twisted, 
tall as a middling man, and with as ugly a fiice carved on it as 
ever you saw in a dream after taking a tough supper — ^no night- 
mare's could be worse. Bat Boroo's big stick, tiie mention of 
which made me think of the story Pm now telling you, was just 
a bit of a baby's twig, compared with the ugly cudgel Duck 
Davie saw that day sticking up in the field. 

Duck, as I said, was a little dashed at first, but he soon got 
heart, and, says he to himself, " It is but her stick she's stuck up 
there, like a centinel, to scare away the boys from teazing her 
while she sleeps ; but Til just teach her that I'm not to be come 
over so aisily." 

Upon this, with a long barley-straw, from behind the tree 
where he was, D^ck b^an to tickle and teaze the ould woman's 
nose, that was almost as rough and as prickly as the ear of the 
straw. — Did you ever get your nose tickled that way while you 
were asleep ? — If you didn't, take my word for it, and upon my 
honour and conscience, it's &r from pleasant; and so the ould 
woman found it. She scratched her nose with her long blue nails, 
muttered a curse upon the flies, and snored again. — ^Duck was in 
his glory ; he tickled as before, and the ould woman opened her 
eyes, but he shrunk behind the tree, and didn't breathe : so she 
dropped off once more. The third time he touched her she 

p 



218 THE witch's switch. 

awoke at once, and from what she said, and her preparing to get 
up. Duck knew she was sure of being teazed by something bigger 
than a fly : so, for fear of anything unpleasant, he moved off, and 
ran away across the field, chuckling in his own mind at the fine 
fun he'd had. 

When he got within a step or two of the gate. Duck heard a 
sound with which he was very well acquainted — I mane that of 
a stick descending with force upon his back ; and within much less 
than a quarter of a second, he felt such a blow across his shoul- 
ders as he didn't get for many's the long day. He looked be- 
hind, thinking to see the ould woman, who he now thought was 
a witch, close at his heels ; but no — ^it was only her stick ! — ^There 
it stood, staring him full in the face, though its owner was yet but 
a little distance from the tree, and hobbling towards him, in such 
a weak way, that Duck felt sure she couldn't have had strength 
to throw it. Don't think that, while he observed this. Duck 
wasn't wriggling his shoulders to and fro, and bellowing lustily 
with the pain of the thwack. It wasn't a little that would make 
him cry ; but roar he did, this while, as loud as ever he roared in 
his life. 

Not knowing what to make of this that had happened him, 
while the stick stood where it did, he was a&aid to turn his 
back to it again ; and^there he was, still wriggling and roaring, 
when the ould woman came up. The state she found Duck in 
seemed to give her great satisfaction : she took the point of the 
stiick out of the ground, and clasping it round the middle to sup- 
port herself, gnashed her toothless gums up in Duck's face, and, 
for his malicious tricks to her that day, — ^waking her when she 
was weary, as he did, — ^promised him a taste of her switch when- 
ever he worried an ould woman again. With this she tottered off, 
and Duck sneaked home, blubbering as he went, expecting to be 
saluted with a blow of either the ladle or the sleeve-board, for 
delaying : but he was disappointed, for he got both ; — one firom 
ould Alice, and the other from her husband. 

All that happened Duck Davie I can't tell you ; — ^it must only 
be a bit here and there, and with that I hope you'll content 
yourself; or may be you don't like him, and the less you hear of 
him the better plazed you'll be. — May be, though, you're like me : 
I don't like the man much, but his story don't displaze me ; so 
I'll go to the next thing I recollect hearing of him. — I mustn't 
pass on though without mentioning how surprised Duck wae 



THE witch's switch. 219 

not to find any mark of the blow he got in the field : he expected 
his back was well wealed, and so he might; — but it wasn't. 
•* Here's the bump on my head," says he to himself, " from the 
ladle, and here's the mark of the edge of the sleeve-board ; but 
Where's that of the switch, as the ould woman called it ? — Now 
Pm sure she's a witch, or else why wouldn't her blow mark me, 
as well as them that I got from my master and mistress P" 

After this. Duck was as quiet as ould Alice would let him be 
for a month or more ; but then he began again, and you'll hear 
how it was : — ^his mistress was well to do in the world, and had 
her house filled with what's useful ; and to tell the truth of her, 
though stingy in some things, a good housewife — so she was. 
Duck had a power of fellow-'prentices, for his master did half 
the work of the town he lived in ; and the boys was destructive, 
as boys will be,— won't they P — Alice was proud of her plates ; but 
they broke them away about this time, at such a rate, by accident 
and what not, that she was determined to put a stop to it : so what 
does she do but give orders that no one should use a sound plate, 
but ate off the broken ones 1 And when she found one of the boys 
doing wrong this way, he got a crack on the head with the ladle 
for his disobadience. One day. Duck wouldn't give himself the 
pains to look for a broken plate ; it was a mischievous moment 
with him, and ould Alice had just before threatened him for 
something ; so he took down a whole plate from the dresser, and 
qualified it for his use, by breaking a piece off its edge. The 
moment he did it. Duck felt a very disagreeable sensation in his 
shoulders. You'll guess the witch kept her word, and that it wa» 
the switch touched him. Faith ! then, you're right ; there stood 
the weapon, with its evil-looking head, at Duck's back, though no 
sign of the old crature herself could he see. And what does the 
switch do, after Duck had stared at it a little, but make him a 
polite reverence, face about, jump head foremost out of the win- 
dow that was open, and hop off down the garden walk, like a man 
would who had but one leg and that a wooden one. 

After Duck had done bellowing, and the pain of the blow 
was gone off, he felt his back, but it was as smooth as the innu- 
merable drubbings he'd got from one and another had left it. He 
then asked everybody if they'd seen a stick, with a big black head^ 
hop into the window or go down the garden : but he only got 
laughed at ; and when he tould a pair of his fellow-'prentices in 
confidence what had happened him, and why it was, they jeered 

p 2 



220 THE witch's switch. 

him, and tried to persuade bim he was telling lies, or going mad 
but he wouldn't believe them, for he had seen the switch with 
his own eyes, and felt the blow with his own back. The two 'pren- 
tices, however, reported the trick to the rest ; and from that day, 
in imitation of Duck Davie, when they couldn't or wouldn't find 
a broken plate, they knocked a |Hece out of a sound one. Duck 
saw them do this often and often, but the switch didn't strike 
them ; and he began to feel sorry that ever he'd tickled the rough 
nose of an ould witch with a straw. 

Time wint on, and ould Alice at last found out the trick of 
the broken crockery, and who it was put the 'prentices up to it; 
so poor Duck was in a worse pickle than ever, but didn't dare to 
indulge himself in mischief against his mistress, for fear of the 
switch. At last, however, he could bear her behaviour no Icmger, 
and resolved to terrify her out of three or four years of her natural 
life, hai^n what would after it. What brought him to this was 
a practice of her's, in the cold mornings of winter, which was 
now come on, of punishing him for the misdeeds of his com- 
panions. You'll hear how she managed it. An hour before 
day-break, without much disturbing her husband, who didn't get 
\ip for long after, she'd take a pole that stood by her bed-side, 
and strike the beam that wint across the ceiling with it, to wake 
up the boys that slept in a big room above. Sometimes they 
wouldn't wake ; and then she'd go up to them herself, and feeling 
about in the dark, get hould of the nose that lay nearest the door ; 
that nose she knew well enough was Duck Davie's ; and when 
she had it in her homy fingers, she'd pull it till Duck roared with 
the pain loud enough to wake himself and all his fellow-'prentices. 
This way she got two or three of her ends at once ; — she vented 
her spite on Du<^, punished one of the delinquents, and awoke 
the rest. Duck didn't like it ; and afUr he'd been served so 
twice, vowed revenge, in his own mind, if she did it again. Well, 
the very next morning, while Duck was dreaming of tickling the 
witch's nose, up came his ould mistress, and performed as before 
upon his. Let Duck be as bad as he would, this wasn't well of 
her, at any rate ; and if he did play her a trick after that, I won't 
say she didn't more than half deserve it. One of the 'prentices 
said that he'd been awake, with a whitlow on his thumb, for an 
hour before, and he'd swear the mistress hadn't knocked at all 
that morning : so it was a piece of spite on her part, that day at 
least, to punish Duck ; and if he wasn't determined before, he 



THE witch's switch. 221 

certainly became so on hearing this, and wint to work at once on 
a plan he had laid down for the occasion. 

Alice, yoall recollect, had been a widow : her first husband's 
picture, larger, if anything, than Hfe,— as little men's pictures 
usually are, — ^was hung up in the parlour while he was alive ; but 
after Alice got married again, and a year or two had gone by, 
somehow it found its way into a lumber room, at the top of the 
house. Duck discovered it in his rambles ; and with it, in the 
same room, three or four suits which the ould tailor had left off 
in his life-tiUie, a cocked hat he wore on high days and holidays, 
and a smooth cane he carried on Sundays. These were all fine 
matarials, and Duck didn't fail to make use of them. He claned 
and patched up a suit of the clothes, brushed the hat, scoured the 
cane, made an effigy of straw, and dressed it up mighty nate and 
all that, — ^for Duck, though obstinate and dull at his trade, was 
'cute and ingenious in all sorts of mischief-making. When he'd 
got so far, he cut the face out of the picture, washed it with 
something till it looked as good as new, fixed it into the neck of 
the figure, with the hat on its brow, and a white cravat under its 
chin. He then fastened the cane, by manes of an ould glove, to 
the cuff of the right sleeve ; and while the master was out one 
night, brought it down stairs, propped it up against the parlour 
door, and then giving a knock, got away in the dark. When the 
ould woman opened the door, the figure bent forward, with the 
hat on its head and the cane in its hand, just as though it would 
enter, and looking for all the world like life itself I 

Ould Alice shrieked, but Duck had taken care no one should 
come to her, for he'd locked and barred the entrance from that part 
of the house were the 'prentices and servants were, to the passage 
which led to the parlour. But Alice wasn't the only one who 
made a great noise in the house that night. The moment she 
first cried out, at seeing what she thought was the ghost of the 
late tailor, her husband, and all the while she lay screaming in 
the parlour, Duck Davie was keeping time with her in the pas- 
sage, by shouting under the blows of the switch, which belaboured 
him this time, so unmercifully, that he took up the figure, and got 
away with it out of the house. 

Duck Davie never darkened the tailor's door again : he tra- 
velled all night on foot, resolving to find some place, if he could, 
where there was no ould women to torment or tempt him, or where 
the witch's switch couldn't reach his shoulders. He got harbour 



222 THE witch's switch. 

and work elsewhere, and wint on for a few years tolerably well, 
considering all things ; but he found to his cost that there was ould 
women everywhere, and it wasn't aisy to get away from the 
switch he dreaded. Elderly persons of the fair sex were occa- 
sionally vexatious to him ; and his disposition now and then broke 
out, so as to summon the switch to his shoulders. 

At last. Duck Davie became a man, — as boys will, you know, 
in years, at least, if not in discretion ; and he made up his mind 
to try if he couldn't rid himself of the switch that haunted him. 
We'll see how he succeeded. 

It happened one morning, after he had been brooding over 
his misfortunes all night, that he drank a little more than was 
wholesome on a fasting stomach, and did something, almost without 
knowing it, that produced a slight bruise on his shoulders from the 
switch. He turned round upon it at once, and resolved to see if he 
couldn't master it. He began to belabour it, before it had time to 
make its bow and hop off, as though it was flesh and blood like 
himself; but only broke his own knuckles against its hard head. 
He then tried to capture it, but the switch bent and writhed in his 
grasp like an eel, got clear out of his hands, and then, hopping 
back a little, gave Duck Davie a blow in the stomach with its 
head, as he was advancing to make another attack, that laid him 
flat on the ground. It then made its bow to him where he lay, 
and hopped off. 

Instead of disheartening, this interview irritated obstinate 
Davie ; and the next day, he brought the switch to him again, by 
purposely tripping up an ould woman's heels who hadn't done 
him a ha'p'orth of evU. There was a holy well, which ran into a 
broad stream near the place where this happened, and before the 
switch had given him a second blow, which he knew he deserved, 
Duck had gripped it tight to his breast and carried it to the bank. 
He cast it into the stream, hoping of course to see it sink ; but it 
swam back like a fish, — ^landed, — ^finished the drubbing it owed 
Duck, and hopped away without giving him a chance of getting 
hould of it again I 

It was full five years before Duck Davie had another affray 
with the switch, which in all that time never fsuled fearlessly to 
visit him as often as he offended. It was on All Souls' eve when 
he had his next fight with it. He did that which brought it for the 
purpose, and resolutely grappled it with both hands, just under 
the chin, as soon as it appeared. Some say that it bate Duck while 



THE witch's switch. 223 

he held it ; and others, that it turned and twisted about his body, 
ahnost breaking his bones, like them snakes we hear of in foreign 
parts would : but for all this, Duck got it into the big fire that 
was before him, and kept it there, with poker and tongs, bating 
its head down as often as it jumped out of the blaze to grin at 
him, until it was quite consumed. And we're tould, that it didn't 
crackle like wood does while burning, but the noise it made was 
like that of two unearthly yoices,^-one laughing bitterly, and the 
other shrieking and groaning as of a crature in agony. 

Now whether Duck Davie got rid of the switch this way or 
not I can't well tell you, for he won't let us know. There's dif- 
ferent stories about it. Some say, the witch came to him that 
time, and begged hard for her stick ; but he swore, by the holy 
iron with which he was banging it, he wouldn't listen to her ; and 
that he never saw switch or witch after. But there's others say 
they know this, namely — ^that Duck Davie saw the ould woman 
long after, sleeping under the tree, with the stick standing whole 
and entire, where it was when he first set eyes on it. 

Duck Davie came to settle in these parts about ten years ago. 
His wife is one of this place : but she left it in her young days, 
and Duck met with and married her when she was housekeeper 
to an apothecary, and he a joume3nnan tailor in Limerick, where 
he lived long with her, and came here, one morning, when he was 
grey, in the wake of Timberleg Toe-Trap the bailiff, for whom 
he'd been doing many's the dirty job, in making seizures and 
dogging debtors, and so forth. This was after he'd been refused 
work by all the master tailors everywhere he could go, because 
his eyes was got too weak for fine stitches : so he was obliged to 
do something for himself, and nothing better being offered him, 
he turned follower to Nick ; and when an execution was issued 
by Pierce Veogh's creditors, which happened about three months 
after his quitting this country, Timberleg, who made the seizure, 
left Duck Davie and another of his men, as his proxies, in pos- 
session of The Beg. But before he'd been in it a week, Duck had 
a quarrel with his master, Timberleg, and another was put in his 
place. So then his wife's brother, Paddy Doolan, who is one of 
my neighbours, persuaded him to quit the bailiff entirely, and to 
set up for himself here among us, as we didn't want finer work 
than he was able to do without straining his ould eyes. Duck 
took his brother-in-law's advice, and has been with us from that 
day to this. 



224 THE wiTca'B swtTcn. 

He hai just as great & dislike to onld women as ever he had ; 
that's vby he don't trate bis wife as he should do, as manj think ; 
and some saj, when he gets in a passion, — as he will oflen, and 
rave and tear like a madman, — that the stick with the night- 
mare's head has been bating him for abusing his wife. Dnek 
Davie has a good qualitjr or two, bnt take ^'"" head and heel^ 
I, for one, don't much like him. Yoall say, may be, why do I 
employ him, then ? — And Til answer yon, — because there isnt 
another tailor within ten miles of us : and moreover, if I was 
Paddy Doolan, and had the use of my limbs, when he abused 
his wife without a cause, as he did yesterday, and often before, 
I'd give bini Bs fine a basting as he got from the witch's switch 
that day when he looked over his shoulder, and saw it standing 
behind him in the field. 



THE WEED WITNESS. 

As the world goes, there*s few places but have had somebody 
to blacken their good name, bj robbery or murder, or crime of 
one sort or another ; and there's few that haven't now, nor hadn't 
before now, but will one day or other, there's no doubt of it :-— for 
as sure as the poppy grows in the corn-field, so will bad passions 
spring up in the hearts of some of us ; and them that's the best 
in their young days, often turn out the worst when they're ould : 
so that, as somebody says, it's foolish to be spaking much in 
praise of a man's goodness of heart, and so forth, until the green 
grass grows over him, and he can't belie us by braking out into 
badness. It's a fine shew of potato-plants, that has but a single 
curly-leaved one among them; and we've rason to pride our- 
selves, that never within our own memory, or that of the ouldest 
people the ouldest of us now alive knew when we were little 
ones, — was there more than one man convicted (I don't say taken 
up on suspicion — Td be wrong if I did) of killing, or burning, or 
shooting, or joining with White-Boys or Break-o'-day-Boys, or 
the likes o' that, for three miles eveiy way from the door o' my 
house. To be sure, there's but few people in that space ; but 
they're enough in number to have had black sheep among 'em. 
If you're uncharitable, you'll say, " So they have ; but the rogues 
have had the luck not to be found out." May be, you're right ; 
there's many, to tell the truth, I wouldn't swear for. Much to 
our glory, however, the one that was found out, didn't draw the 
first breath o' life here ; but came from far away up the country, 
after he'd done that which brought him to a bad end. 

Johnny O'Rourke, as it's said, had a dacent woman for his 
mother ; but, for his own part, Johnny was a downright bad one, 
—egg and bird. He got into such company when he grew up, 
as couldn't well improve his morals ; and, by-and-by, he'd brought 
his ould mother — she was a widow — at once to death's door, and 
the brink of beggary, by his bad goings-on. 

One night, after he'd been away for more than a week, Johnny 
came home, with the mud of three baronies lying in dots and 
layers on his stockings, white as a corpse, and looking every way 
as though he'd travelled far and fast, on no pleasant errand. 



226 THE WEED WITNESS. 

** It*s well you're come,** says somebody to him from behind, 
as'he put his hand on the door. 

" Why so ?** says Johnny ; and though he knew by the voice 
it was one of the neighbours that spoke to him, his heart knocked 
against his ribs, and then seemed to be climbing up to his throat ; 
for something whispered him, all wasn't well : indeed, he hadn't 
much reason to expect it. — " Why so," says he, " Biddy ? — Isn't 
the ould woman as she should be ?" 

" Did you lave her as she should be, or didn't you ?" 

" Poorly, Biddy, and you know it ; for you was wid her whin 
I wint away. But tell me, now, upon your soul, is she worse ?'* 

" My grief ! it's herself that is, then I — ^You've broke her heart, 
out and out, God help you ! " 

" Don't say that, Biddy I or PU go get a knife and kill meeself. 
Tell her, Pm here, and that I can't come in 'till she forgives me 
for all's said and done : — and bring me something to comfort me, 
for I hav'n't heart to look in the face of her." 

" Is it comfort for yourself, you're talking of? — and your 
mother wailing and howling night and day, as she has been, 
for the sight of her llanuv ! — ^Whot has she done to have such 
a one as yourself, Johnny, no one can tell. Down on your 
knees, and crawl that way up to her, there where she lies on 
her death-bed ; and don't be thinking of sending me as a go- 
between ; or, may be, your mother may die before you get her 
blessing." 

" Oh ! Biddy, Biddy I you're destroying me— root and branch ! 
Sure, she can't be so bad as that ! " 

*' Come in and see," says Biddy, taking his cold hand in her's, 
and leading him at once right into the house, and up to the bed- 
side of his mother, and shewing her to him, propped up as she 
was, and raving with the little speech that was left her, for her 
darling, and her llanuv, and her white-headed boy, and the life 
of her hetfrt, and all the dear names she could call that bad son, 
who had brought sorrow and misery upon her. And they say it 
was awful to hear the shriek of joy that came from her, and how 
she leaped out of the women's arms that was houlding her, when 
somebody put aside the long grey hair, which in her grief she'd 
pulled over her face, and shewed her Johnny himself standing 
by the bed-side, the image of woe and remorse. There wasn't a 
hair's breadth of his face that she didn't kiss ; and though a little 
before, when he stood like a statue, looking at her as he did, 



THE WEED WITNESS^ 227 

Johnny was too mndi choking with grief to he ahle to utter a 
word, yet, when he'd mingled the scalding drops that hurst from 
his eyes, with the cold tears on his mother's cheek, he found him- 
self restored ; and drawing hack from her emhrace, he had courage 
enough to look up at her : hut he couldn't hear the sight for a 
moment, and hid his face on her breast again, exclaiming, — ** Oh I 
mother, mother I and is it this way I find you ? Why didn't I 
die before I saw this night ?" 

" Cheer up, my darling I " said the ould woman, *^ for Pll now 
braathe mee last in peace, that you're here to close mee eyes. — 
Oh ! that hand, Johnny I — ^put that hand close to mee heart ! — ^it's 
often I felt it there before now, — ^long, long ago, Johnny, whin it 
w^as young and innocent, and I'd no comfort on earth — widow as 
I was — ^but the sight of mee baby laughing up in mee eyes ; — 
though the look of you then even brought the tears into them, 
you were so like him that was taken from me before you were 
bom." 

*' Pve been a bad son to you, mother," said Johnny ; *' it's now 
I feel it." 

*^ T^e your mother's blessing and forgiveness, my child ; and 
mee last prayer will be, that you'll get as free pardon here and 
hereafter for all things, as your poor ould dying mother now gives 
you." 

" Oh ! you're not dying, mother ; — ^you can't be dying I" cried 
Johnny, in the greatest agony ; "such a thought as that of your 
d3ring never crossed mee brain, — and I can't bear it; — Sure, 
mother, Fm home, and Fll watch you, and be wid you night 
and day : — ^there's hope for us yet. Isn't there hope, mother P 
Don't you feel life come into you at the sight of me, and mee 
tears and repentance for what Fve done ?" 

^ No, Jolmny," said the ould woman ; " Fm sure Fll not see 
the morning. The sight of you does me good; but Fd live 
longer iv you hadn't come : — now Fve nothing to wait for, as I 
know mee last look will be fixed on the child I bore, and who's 
the only one that's kith, kin, or kind to me, on the face of the 
earth. But, oh I mee child I — don't do as you have done ! " 

"Why spake of it, mother ? — be quiet about the past, for it 
troubles me — so it does." 

" Fve had bad dreams of you, Johnny. Neighbours, iv you'd 
let me be alone awhile wid me child, Fd thank you." 

The women retired slowly from the room, and closed the door 



228 THE WEED WITNESS. 

behind them. "What have you been dreammg, mother?" eagerly 
inquired Johnny, as soon as they had departed. 

*^ There was a river of blood, Johnny, wid yourself struggling 
for life in it ; and me in a boat, widout rudder or oar, not able to 
save you : and then — ** 

"Don't go on, mother! it's worse than throwing water on 
me ! — Via shaking from head to foot.** 

" You didn't mind dreams once, Johnny ; — and you used to 
laugh at me when Fd be telling you warnings I had that way, 
about you." 

" I wasn't so bad then, may be, mother, as Fm now : bud 
youTl live long yet, and help me to pray meeself out of all of it ; 
and Fll mind what you say, and go to work for you honestly, 
instead of feeding you wid what I got in sorrow and sin. If I 
escape this once, Fll make a vow never to sleep out of mee own 
little bed there again. Oh I that I never had ! — ^bud it's too late 
to make that wish." 

" Don't despair, darling ! for he that's above us is good : and 
iv you're penitent, and do as your father's son should, my dear, 
in spite of that other bad dream I had, the grass will grow on 
your grave, as it does on his." 

" Oh I mercy ! and did'nt the grass grow over me, mother ? 
And did you see mee grave in your dreams ?" 

" A thousand times, Johnny, since you were gone : — ^the little 
hillock itself was barren and bare, and all round it, as far as the 
eye could reach, there was nothing bud wild turnips growing." 

"Mother! you're mad to tell me so! You couldn't have 
dreamed that — ^you couldn't have seen the prushaugh vooe — ^ 

" I see it now, my dear boy, as I did in mee dreams, waving its 
yellow flowers backwards and forwards, summer and winter, as 
iv they were to last for ever and ever." 

" Oh ! mother, mother 1 spake no more o'them ! Iv I thought 
it wouldn't be the death of you, I'd aize mee mind." 

" Pray God, you've murdered nobody I " 

"I have, mother! — I have! — Iv you didn't spake o' the 
prushaugh vooe, I wouldn't have tould you ; bud there'd be no 
salvation for me, iv you died and did'nt forgive me for it : — for 
though you forgave me for every thing besides, you couldn't 
forgive me for what you didn't know about. Fd die iv I didn't 
confess to somebody ; — ^and who's there in the wide world I could 
open mee soul to bud yourself, mother?" 



THB WEED WITNESS. 229 

** Oh ! my grief, Johnnj I and is it come to this ? — ^Bud are 
you sure you're not pursued ? — (spake low, for they're at the door, 
and it won't shut close) — ^are you sure, my dear ?" 

^' I don't know, mother ; I think Vm not : hud Tm afraid, as 
well I may, from what he said to me, and that same thing you 
dreamed ahout, I'll be found out and hung, worse luck I who 
knows ? — ^though I never meant to harm him, as you'll hear, 
mother, at the last day, — the day o' judgment, whin there's no 
Jceeping a secret." 

" Who was your victim, Johnny P And where was it you were 
tempted to risk your soul ? " 

" It was the Hearthmoneyman I killed ! — I'd been watching 
for him, different ways, day and night, to rob him of his collec- 
tion ; but he'd always somebody wid him, or there was people 
coming ; or whin there wasn't, I hadn't the heart, until this 
blessed morning." 

"In the broad day?" 

" It was ; — smiles away where you never have been. Bud be 
was too much for me, mother ; and if it wasn't for the bit of ould 
baggonet I carried in mee sherkeen, without ever intinding to use 
it, he'd have taken me off to the police : for he got away mee 
stick &om me, and I couldn't manage him ; no, nor keep him off, 
nor get away from him even, till I took out the baggonet." 

"Did no one see you ? — ^Was there nobody near ? — Are you 
sure, now?" 

" I am : — ^bud, oh I mother ! what do you think he said to me ? 
There was wild turnips growing by the road side, and as he fell 
among them, says he, — ' You think no one sees you ; bud while 
there's a single root of this prushaugh vooe growing in Ireland, 
m not want a witness that you murdered me I ' Then he dragged 
up a handful of it, and threw it in the face o' me, as he fell back 
for ever." 

" My dream ! my dream !" cried the ould woman ; " Curse 
his collection ! Curse the money that tempted mee child into this 
sin!" 

" I took none of his money ! — ^not a keenogue ! How could I 
touch it after what I tould you ? — But what'll I do, mother ?" 

" Fly, my dear ! Go hide yourself far, far away ! Go, and my 
blessing be on you I — Go, for you'll be suspected and pursued I— Go 
at once, for Til not be able to spake much more ! — Go, while Tve 
mee sight to see you depart ! — Gro, while T ve sinse left to hear the 



230 THB WEED WITNESS. 

last o* your footsteps, out away through the garden I Mee eyes 
is getting dim, and the hreath*s going from me.** 

** Oh I mother ! how can I tear meeself from you ? '* 

^* Ohey me on mee death-hed, if you never did hefore. Pd 
linger long in agonies iv you didn*t ; and, may he, die shrieking, 
just as they came to take you up ! — Go off, my darling hoy, and Til 
expire in peace, wid the hope of your escaping. Soul and hody 
ril try to hould together until morning f and then, iy I don*t 
hear of your heing taken, — as had news travels fast, — 111 think 
you're safe, and die happy." 

Well, at last Johnny promised his mother he*d try all he could 
to get away to some place where he couldn*t he known ; and after 
taking her blessing, and an eternal lave of her, — a sorrowful 
one it was, they say, — ^he wint out at the back door of the cabin, 
and made off as £»t as he well could. After skulking about in 
different parts for many months, at last he came to this place, 
got a wife, and did as well as here and there one; — ^nobody 
suspecting him of being worse than his neighbours, — for eighteen 
or twenty long years. His wife, who was a cousin of mine, loved 
him all that while ; and said, though he was dull and gloomy at 
times, and didn't get his sleep for bad dreams he had, — which 
she thought made him cross, — take him altogether, he was as 
good a husband as woman could wish. 

Well, as I said Vhile ago, Johnny CRourke lived among us 
here, for eighteen or twenty years,^ — ^under the name of Michael 
Walsh though, I must tell you, — ^then you'll hear what happened 
him. He wint out to fetch a bit of a walk one day, after being 
bad a week or two, so that he couldn't well work ; but he hadn't 
been over the threshould a quarter of an hour, when he came 
running back the most lamentable-looking object that ever 
darkened a door. Every hair on his head seemed to have a life 
of its own ; his eye-halls were fixed as those of one just killed with 
fright ; his mouth was half open ; his jaw seemingly motionless ; 
his lips white as a sheet ; and around them both was a blue circle, 
as though he'd been painted to imitate death. Down he dropped 
upon the floor as soon as he got in ; and all his wife and the 
neighbours could do, didn't restore him to his right senses for 
hours. At last, he began to call for the priest ; — ^I remember it as 
well as if it happened but yesterday ; — and here it was where they 
found Father Killala, who was telling me the middle and both 
ends of the cant at The Beg : for all Pierce Yeogh's furniture and 



THE WEED WITNESS. 231 

tfaings were sould under the hammer that day, and the Monday 
before, for a mere nothing, or next kin to it. And when Father 
Eillala got to the sick man, he said, that though we*d so long 
called him Mick Walsh, his raal name was Johnny O^Bourke ; 
and that he'd seen a sight that day, which drove him to do what 
heM long been thinking of; namely, — confessing that he was the 
murderer of Big Dick Blaney, the Hearthmoneyman, who was 
found, with an ould baggonet in his breast, among the prushaugh 
vooe by the road side, away up the country, twenty years before. 
"And," says he, "I can't live wid the load on mee heart; — 
whether I lie abroad or at home Fm always tossing about in a 
bed of prushaugh vooe, wid the baggonet gUmmering'like a flash 
of lightning over mee head : so you'll deliver me up at once, that 
I may suffer by man for raismg mee hand against man, and God 
help me to go through it P* 

And, no doubt, the sight he saw was enough to make him do 
as he did. A week after he tould his wife his whole history ; 
and how, when he wint out that day when he came home and 
called for the priest, after walking a little way along the road, 
thinking of no harm in the world, but with his heart weighed 
down as usual for the deed he'd done long ago, he was suddenly 
startled, by hearing somebody singing what he thought was a 
keentaghaun; and what should he see, on turning his eyes to the 
bit of wild broken ground by the road-side, but the face of his 
ould mother ! And what was she doing, think you, but tearing 
up the wild turnip-plants, which were growing on the spot where 
she stood, as though her life depended on their destruction ! — He 
thought she'd been in her grave years and years before ; but there 
she was, miserably ould, and withered away to skin and bone : but 
though altered by time, he saw, at the first look, it was Ms mother. 
She wint on with her work, not noticing her son, and singing in a 
low,' wild, heart-breaking tone — 

'' Still the prushangb vooe grows ! 
For the winds are his foes. 
And scatter the seed, 
Of the fearful weed, 
O'er mountain and moor ; 
"While weary and sore, 
I trarel, np-rooting 
Each bright green shooting : — 
But the winds are his foes, 
And the prushaugh still grows ! 
Oh! meellanuv! meellanuy!" 



SII9 TBE WBBD 

And BafB she, " Mee taak will never be ended ; for mee tears 
water the teed*, while I pull up the ould plants that bore them. 
Oh I Johnnjr ! where are you, my boq f — Come to jour mother 
and help her, mj' darling 1 " 

So then be daggered up to her, bnt ihe didn't know him ! — 
the mother didn't koow the son she doaled on, — bnt cursed hitu, 
and called him ** Dick Blanej," and " Hearthmoneyman I " — All 
thte it waa that drove Johnny O'Ronrke to run home, like one 
oat of his senses, and make his confesdon. 

It's said, that be tried, at the bar, with tears and lamentation, 
which wasn't ejpected of him, to save his life i or, at any rate, to 
get a long day given him ;— promising how good he'd be, if be 
was let live, and pleading the years he'd passed in repentance. But 
you'd guess, if I did'nt tell yon, that such blarney, from one who'd 
done as he had, would have no weight. So he suffered ; and that, 
too, penitently, as rmtonld bj them that saw bim at the last. His 
wife spent ell she could scrape tt^ether, — as he bid her with hk 
last words a'most, — in search of bis mother ; but the onid woman 
never was found, as far as I know, from that day to this ; and, 
may be, the poor soul is still wandering about, tearing up the 
prushaugh vooe, and singing bei melancholy song. 



ME AND MY GHOST-SHIP. 

About a month after the cant at The Beg of all the goods that 
was in it, — ^the particulars of which Father Eillala was telling 
me, as you heard while ago, when he was sent for hy Johnny 
0^ourke,^the large creditors that had claims on the land, and 
the house itself, made up their minds to follow the example s^t 
them by the small fry, who had paid themselves out o' the sale o' 
the furniture, and things o' that kind, — ^the goods and chattels I 
mane ; — and news came that the whole domain would soon be 
publicly put up, and sould to the best bidder. Such tidings as this 
couldn't but grieve me, — ^I'U say that much for myself; for I 
didn't know into what hands the fine ould place might fall. And 
what would it matter to me, a poor ould cripple as I am, living 
here in a cabin, — ^youll ask, — who had it, since Fd no call to it P 
— Why, then, TU tell you ; and if you laugh at me for loving 
The Beg, so be it, and you're welcome. It's in the small room, 
to the left, as you go up the back staircase, just above what's 
called the Oratory, and over-right the chamber where there's a 
portrait of William the Third, the long-nosed Orangeman, one 
side o' the chimney, and a picture of poor Jimmy Stuart, the 
king, on the other — ^it's there where I drew my first breath ; and 
it's there, too, on the same day and hour, my mother drew her 
last. My father lived with the Yeoghs, and so did his father 
before him ; and, it's said, we once was owners of The Beg our- 
selves, and should be so still, if right ruled the roast. There's 
a pedigree of our forefitthers drawn out upon parchment, in the 
form of a tree, stuck up against one o' the walls, by which it 
seems we were fine fellows long ago : — ^but that doesn't matter a 
ha'p'orth to me now ; for Pd rather find a guinea without an 
owner, than have it proved that my grandfather was king of ten 
countries, and I could lay claim to the title as his heir, if it was 
nothing but the bare name I got by it. Not but what if I was a 
fine fellow myself, I must own, Pd rather have fine fellows than 
vagabonds for my forefathers ; but as Pm but a fisherman, or next 
kin to it, Pd as soon have fishermen as King Ferguses for my 
ancestors ; — ^and rather, too, may be : for while, in the one case, 



234 ME AND MY GHOST-SHIP. 

the honour of those I sprung from might make me strive to he 
great and honourable myself; that same honour, in the other, 
might make me draw comparisons, and he discontented with my 
own lot, and so neglect doing what I might, and go to the dogs, 
—don't you see ? 

The night I heard of The Beg's being sould, I was ratting 
alone here in my cabin, brooding over the bad news, when whose 
voice should I hear, outside my door, but that of Comey Carolan, 
the wooden-legged piper and rhymester of Drogheda ? — ^YouTl 
know more of Comey, if youll just listen to the story TU tell you, 
by-and-by, about Luke Sweeney; that is — ^Fogarty, I should 
say ; for the piper's cousin— that's Luke himself— don't like to 
be called by his own name, which, to spake the truth, is Sweeney, 
and nothing else : however, HI tell you a trifle about the piper 
now, and especially what happened him the night I sat mum- 
chance here, making myself sick, at what, if I was wiser, may be, 
I'4 know shouldn't concern me. Comey was bound 'prentice to 
a brogue-maker, in his native place — which is Drogheda ; but, as 
he tells us, he was too much the lad o' wax to stick to his last, 
and left a good home, to seek his fortune on the wide ocean. But 
there's many of us have done as bad : so we shouldn't cry out 
upon Comey, you know ; — should we, now ? — ^The sea is the sole 
and only thing in the world that an English, Lrish, Scotch, or 
Welch boy, ever feels truly and deeply in love with. The lad 
that's one day or other to have his name mentioned with Nelson 
and CoUingwood, — or to be the hero of the forecastle, if he comes 
of poor parents, — may be fond of a toy, or a sugar-plum, or his 
little cousin Kitty, or thousands of things besides, before he tum- 
bles into his teens ; but— mark what I say, if you plaze — the sea 
alone is the darling he doats on ; and no man alive ever fell into 
a more consuming passion for a beautiful young woman, than 
many a boy has for the fine ould ocean. It's the hereditary love 
such numbers of us have, when young, for the beautiful billows, 
that makes us masters of the main. Li other countries, as Fve 
heard, neither whips nor words will persuade lads to take to the 
sea ; in these, stone walls themselves will but barely keep them 
from it: and bad luck^^o him, I say, that ever, by word or 
deed, does a ha'p'orth to .blight our national fondness for the 
waters, which keeps our country afloat. — Hurrah I 

The rhymester of Drogheda. has made a song of what hap- 
pened him at sea; — and a mighty queer song it is, as youll 



1 



MB AND MT GHOST-SHIP. 235 

hear, for I think I can giye you a sample. After Corney has 
noticed all he saw and suffered, for four or five years, aboard a 
man-o*-war, he says, — or rather sing8» — / 

" We met the French one day. 

Near what the Nile they call, 
And axed them wonld they play 

A fiiendly game of ball ?— 
Isn't it grape they shoot i 

Away my leg they blew ; 
And the two-pound note to boot, 

I'd hid inside my shoe." 

After that, Comey retired upon a wooden leg and a pension ; 
and, turning his sword into an awl, he transmogrified the comer 
of an ould stable into a new cobbler*s stall. ^ And you'd think 
rd do well," says he, in his song ; " for," he c(Hitinues, 

" Of customers soon I got — 

Ould friends they were— a score ; 
But wonldn'^t I go to pot 

Without as many more f 
Knsha! bad lock for me ! — 

Attend to this, I beg, — 
They all had been to sea, 

And each o* them lost a leg ! ** 

Going on at that rate wouldn^t suit Comej at all : he fbund the 
wolf was getting every day nearer his door ; so, at last, he thought 
he'd try what sort of a trade begging was. It wasn't long before 
he'd the model of a ship, built and rigged by himself, fastened to 
his skull-cap ; and for many's the year he carried it about to and 
fro, here and there and everywhere, until he and his pipes — and, 
by all accounts, he's one o' the finest hands at them you ever 
heard — were as well known as the bridge of Waterford, For the 
first time in my life, — ^the night he looked in upon me, when I 
was bothering myself about The Beg's being sould, — ^I saw Comey 
without his ship. 

" Arrah ! Comey," says I, '* who've you struck your flag to ?" 

" To the captain of the Dutch merchantman," says he. 

" Well, but how happened it, Comey ? " says I. 

" Why, then," says he, " Pll tell you : — ^About an hour ago» 
upon my arrival at my cousin Fogart/s, after being away since; 

Q2 



236 ME AND MT GHOST-SHIP. 

Sunday se'nnight, I heard the whole story about the Dutch 
vessel being blown ashore, and took a half-a-pint, or so, of die 
fine hoUands my cousin had got from her captain. After that, I 
was tould how he'd given every soul in the place from one to 
three quarts of it, for the kindness that had been shewn him, in 
getting his ship off without damage. And, says Luke F<^arty, 
— ^roaring like a bull in my ear, — *' He's just bid us good b*ye ; for 
his vessel's under weigh again, and himself going on board as soon 
as he gets to the beach.' Very well, thinks I ; wooden-legged 
as I am. Til see if I can't overtake the Dutchman, and coax him 
out of a keg, or a bottle at least : for, to tell the truth, hollands 
is delicious ; and I never tasted a sup of any thing drinkable so 
fine as the hollands the Dutch captain left at Luke Fogarty's. 
Away I wint ; and, in less time than you'd dance down a lame 
woman at a jig-house, as the night was bright as day itself, I hove 
up within sight of the Dutchman. 

" Making all the sail I could, I soon ran down his huU ; but 
the moment I hailed him, and he took a view of me, he walked 
away like a race-horse. I followed, as fast as I well could, and 
a jolly chace we had of it. I'll tell yon beforehand that I came 
up with him at last : and, from one of his boat's crew, who spoke 
English, I found out what he thought of me, while I was 
crowding all I could upon his track. He'd often laughed at the 
stories that was tould him of the phantom ship off the Cape ; 
but no sooner had he set eyes on the little model I wore on my 
head, than he thought he saw the thing itself : and he looked 
upon it as a special punishment upon him for being an un- 
believer, to have the ship not only sent after him there from her 
own seas, but for her to follow him ashore, and make the air 
her ocean I The slender cordage rattled with the sea-breeze, — 
blowing as it was, and the little sails flapped about the spars, 
as he tacked to get away from me, and I tacked to overtake him ; 
and, no doubt he thought they made more noise than a seventy- 
four in a gale o' wind. And the fears that were upon him, likely 
enough, magnified my little boat into a large craft. But what do 
you think he thought, when I struck up a tune upon my pipes ? — 
music to which he, — ^poor ignorant soul ! until then was a stranger! 
He cast a hasty glance over his left shoulder at the sound ; and, 
the moon then gleaming full upon me, he caught a glimpse of my 
face ; which, as he said, he took at once to be that of the big ugly 
fiend o' the storm. I hailed him, but he wouldn't answer me ; 



MB AND UT OHoaT-sttip. 237 

I swore m Irish, and he began to praj in Dutch : and, at last, 
when he fonnd he couldn't get away from me, he fell donn upon 
bia knees, and began to attack a bottle he had in his pocket, as 
though no one lored hoUanda but himself. In a few seconds he 
ma under my fore-foot ; and, of coniae, I clutched the bottle ont 
of his hand: but if you'd seen the look he gave at me and my 
gboet-dip, while I was drioking, you'd never foi^et it while you 
lived. Pve no call to find fault with him, though ; for, as soon 
af he found oat I was flesh and blood, he used me well, and gave 
me the twa trifles of hoUands I have, slung at each side of me 
heie, and more than » trifle of money, to boot, for my ship j 
which, to tell no lies, I was gung to hang up for ever to- 
IDOTTOW ; fbr she was getting too much for me, or I was getting 
too onld £>r hei, I don't know which. Besides, Tta now able to do 
well enough without her, — thanks to my pipes,— and the trifles of 
songs Fve made myself and stole from better men. It wasn't 
without a groan or two thongh, that I saw the Dutchman, when 
he'd bought her, tie a stone to my poor ship's waist, and drown 
her as spitefully as though she'd been a cur that had bit him." 



THE NEST EGO. 

Well, who should buy The Beg, do you think, but a fine lady 
from Dublin, who had never seen it, a^ if s said, sould off all 
she had, to make up the money for it ? — And who should the 
lady be, but that same young Pierce Yeogh was once in love with, 
but who wouldn*t have him, because of his wild doings, and 
wint and married another ? — ^And this other was dead, and the 
lady was a widow, and bought The Beg, as we thought when 
we knew the stoiy, because of Fierce ; who was then, nobody 
knew where. 

Down she came, in a few Veeks, to take possession ; and if s 
soon she was loved by eveiy soul within three miles of the fdaee. 
Them that was Fierce Yeogh's iavourites, she did good to for his 
sake ; and them that he never noticed, she helped for her own : so 
that there was few but blessed her. She gave Mick Magnire a 
new gun, when he*d burst the one he had frcnn Pierce, by over- 
loading it, and broke his own arm to boot ; and she did something 
for me, too, as you*ll hear, by-and-by, though Pierce and myself 
never was over and above friendly, because I didn^ like his 
goings-on ; and whaf s more,^-for FH confess my frailty, — in all 
his spending he never spent a penny upon me. 

If I was one of a nation that had to choose a queen by her 
looks, Fd just pick out the lady who bought The Beg ; for I never 
saw any thing in the .wide world so fine and so gracious, and so 
every thing thafs good, and above the general run of ^women, — 
and I never saw one in the w<Nrld that I couldn't kiss,— as herself. 
She hadn't been at The Beg much more than a week, when 
one morning she sailed into my place here ; her movements was 
more like those of a fine vessel on a smooth tide, than those 
of one like us that treads upon the earth ; and her eyes was of 
the colour of the sky on a clear night, and a fine star seemed to 
be twinkling in the middle of each of them ; and, says she,— 
^ God bless all here !"— -just *ks a dillosk-girl might, in going into 
the cabin of a neighbour. FU never forget her, or the sight of 
her beautiful small fingers, when she pulled ofi^ her glove,^iBet ofi*, 
as they were, by a black ring about one of them; and though 



TUB NEST EG a. 233 

Fm a poor man, and an ould man, I was in love with her, and 
die knew it : — that Pd uphould against the finest man that ever 
stood upon two legs, if I could even stand upon one myself, — but 
I can't. 

She came to do good; and after much talkmg, says she to 
Aggie, my niece,—" You're a widow, I hear : is it long you've 
been so?" 

"Three years and a half, my lady," says Aggie, who's well 
spoken enough to hould a confab with any one ; though you 
wouldn't think it, if you heard her aboard the boat. 

** And hare you any children?" says the lady, in a tone o' 
kindness, that would make the most bashful as bould as could well 
be becoming. 

" Tve two, my lady, as fine boys as ever the sun shone upon ; 
though I say it, you wouldn't niatch them in a day's walk. The 
marrow isn't well in their bones yet ; but there's nothing, at sea 
or ashore, they're afraid of, barring one thing,--and that's facing 
so fine a lady as yourself; they couldn*t do that, so they slunk 
out the back way when they caught sight o' your ladyship coming : 
I hope that won't be an offence, though." 

•' By no means," said the lady ; " and how was it you lost 
your husband?— But I ought not to remind you of your mis- 
fortune." 

" Blessings on your sweet face, my lady," says Aggie ; " it 
does me good to hear poor Larry spoken of, or asked kindly 
about : it's few that does it.*^ 

" Ah I " says I ; " the thoughts o' the living drives away — 
that is, partly drives away — the memory o' the dead. Poor Larry 
ran into the sea, and drowned himself one night, in a fit o' mad- 
ness, brought on by a wound in his head long before, and more 
whiskey than usual, which he'd been drinking that day. He was 
the finest swimmer on this coast, and nearly took two or three to 
the bottom that wasn't bad ones, who wint in to save him. He 
sunk himself by main force." 

And after that, when the lady asked which way it was he got 
wounded, I tould her how he'd been a sailor in his young days. 
** And when he was a boy," says I, ** there never, by all accounts, 
was one better loved, by little or l»g, than himself. He sailed 
many's the voyage with one Oriel, who was captain and half 
owner of the brig Betsy, — one of the best sea-boats ever was 
seen : she'd make two voyages and back, while them that waited 



210 THE NEST EGO. 

for convoy couldn't fetch one. And it's many*8 the times — HI not 
be bothering you with sea terms, which your ladyship won't com« 
prebend — ^it's often then she bate off such enemies as she was 
able for, and left those in the lurch she couldnH expect to drub. 
But, at last and in long run, she met with her match, and more 
than it every way, in a pirate, manned with a crew of all nations^ 
but sailing under Algerine colours, if I don't mistake. They'd 
as pretty a little battle for, may be, half a glass or more, yard- 
arm and yard-arm, — ^that's cheek-by-jowl, you know, my lady, — 
as one could wish to behould : but, by-and-by, Oriel found he was 
getting the worst of it ; and says he to Larry, — that's my niece's 
husband that was, — ' Larry,' says he, ' you've always obeyed my 
orders like a good boy.' ' rU do so still, sir,' sayu Larry, • while 
there's life left in me.' * Well, then, Larry,' says Oriel, ' they're 
making ready for boarding us, I think ; and as we can't get away, 
I'll tell you what you'll do : — ^go down to the powder-room, and 
when we've fought as long as we're able, and killed what we can 
above here on deck, — that is, when you think they're all aboard 
of us a'most, and we can't do much more harm to them, — do you 
just blow up the brig, like a good boy, and I'll be obliged to you.' 

* I will, sir,* says Larry ; ' but my mistress — ' ' Oh ! you block- 
head ! ' cried Oriel ; ' don't you see, it's for her sake entirely, that 
I'm making this sacrifice ? Do you think I could die happy with 
the thought of her falling, in the pride of her youth and beauty, 
into the hands of these villains ? ' ^ Oh ! master ! ' says poor Larry, 
poking a tear out of his eye with the top of his clumsy finger, 

* why did you bring her with you ?' ' Hould your tongue,' says 
Oriel, ' and don't mind what don't concern you : I took her twice 
before, and less harm happened me than ever ; for she seemed to 
be like a charm against peril to my poor brig. Now go away 
down, Larry, and don't blubber that way, or, may be, you'll wet 
the priming in your pistol ; and should you miss fire, and not 
blow us up as I bid you, if the enemy don't throw you overboard, 
my ghost shall haunt you all the days of your life : but be a good 
boy, and do your duty like a man, and we'll all go to heaven, I 
hope, in company.' Well, down wint Larry, after giving one 
last pelt with his pistol at the pirates, and loading it again for the 
confidential service he was trusted with ; and away strode big 
Oriel, determined to kill as many as he could, before dying him- 
self. Soon after, the deck of the Betsy was trod on by the best 
part of the enemy's crew, and Oriel's people was obliged to 



THE NEST EGO. 241 

retreat, before the superior force that was opposed to them, bit by 
bit, nntil they got huddled together about the forecastle ; and from 
that they clambered, and jumped, and tumbled higgledy-piggledy, 
they hardly knew how, — ^and Oriel, almost in spite of himself, with 
them,— over the lee-bow, dane into the enemy's ship that lay 
dose alongside. Before above two or three could follow them, the 
Betsy gave a lurch, and the vessels parted. Them that was left 
aboard the pirate couldn't make much head against Oriel's men ; ' 
but he didn't help them a ha'p'orth ; — and when somebody came 
np to him, where he stood thumping his head with the handle of 
his cutlass, and congratulated him upon the good turn things were 
taking, and said they might now use the pirates' own heavy metal 
against its owners, — he cried out with an oath, that his wife was 
stOl aboard the Betsy, and he'd bid Larry to fire into the powder 
room ! At that moment, he caught a glimpse of Larry's carrotty 
head, poking out of a port-hole, or somewhere, and looking like 
one amazed, at seeing his shipmates seemingly making them- 
sdves masters of the pirate, while he knew, from what he heard 
going on above, that the enemy was masters of the Betsy. What 
to do, he didn't know ; and felt woful and confounded as ever 
boy did in the world before. At last, he saw Oriel, who shouted 
to him as loud 83 he could ; but the noise was too great for Larry 
to hear a syllable of what he said ; and then. Oriel, half frantic, 
made such violent motions with the pistol he'd snatched out of the 
man's hand who'd spoken to him, pointing it at Lany, and threat- 
ening to shoot him, and I can't tell what, that the poor boy, 
knowing his mistress was still aboard, thought the captain was in 
a rage with him for not blowing up the brig before, and made 
signs, which couldn't well be misunderstood, that he'd go do it 
directly. At this. Oriel shrieked with passion ; and, before Larry 
coiQd get away, fired the pistol he had at the boy's head ; — ^there 
being no other way to prevent him from doing what Oriel then 
thought wouldn't be wise. The ball only grazed Larry's skull, 
but it took the senses out of him ; and there he lay like one dead. 
It was the wound he got that way which made him lose his right 
wits, when he drank much, as he did the day he drowned himself, 
much to my grief ! For, oh ! Larry, my boy, it's well I loved you ! 
— and so cfid your wife, and all that knew you ! — Your ladyship 
looks as if you'd like to be tould what happened the captain's wife, 
ftnd how it ended. — ^Why, then, the pirates, though in the worst 
ship, got the better of Larry's shipmates : Oriel was mortally 



242 THE NEST KG6. 

'vronnded, in a desperate attempt to retake the Betsy; bat he 
had the satisfaction of falling on his own deck, and knowii^ that 
his wife had died from a chance shot, a few moments before. The 
pirates themselves were attacked by a fiigate, before they conld 
repair the damage done to their yessel, and Larry tras found in 
the prize, at death's door : but I needn't tell you he got oyer it, 
or how would he marry Aggie, and be the father of Pandrigg and 
Jinmiy P — ^Fine fellows they'll make one day or other, HI engage 
for them ! Though they're but boys even now, they lent Aggie a 
good hand at working the boat, from the time poor Larry, their 
&ther, was lost to us." 

" And do you go fishing ?— yoii only and your young sons?" 
said the lady, with tears in her eyes, to my niece. 

" I do, my lady," says Aggie ; " sign's on me ! — ^what would 
become of us all else ? " 

" Faith I then, my lady," says I, " she buckled on Larry's 
bradien the week after he died, and has missed as few tides as any 
one, from that day to this, — she and the boys, that is." 

** Poor woman ! " says my lady, putting something that was 
right welcome into Aggie's hand; "this trifle may assist you, if 
you'll accept of it." 

" Long life to ye, my lady ! " says Aggie, making the best 
curtsy she could ; " I was thinking to ask your ladyship's favour 
in the way of taking a fish at a fair price from us, time about 
with Rob Hacket ; but, upon second thought, Rob has a fry of 
gorlochs by his new wife, and he's getting weakly, and past going 
out in a tough rise ; while Pm strong and able ; Paudrigg and 
Jimmy are both growing lusty too, — ^grace and good luck be with 
'em !— so, my lady, PU say nothing about the fish, but make bould 
to take the money, and lay it by for a rainy day." 

" I fear you think of but little more than the present," says 
my lady ; " you should be provident, and save a little in the good 
season ; then you'd be able to look forward to the time of sickness 
with more comfort." 

" Ah ! my lady, we have no time to be sick," says Aggie ; 
" ailing or hearty the net must be spread, and nine out of ten erf 
the fishermen die the night after weathering a stiff breeze : — ^it's 
rare for any of us to lose above one tide between life and death ! 
—And as to being provident, my lady, half the year we have 
enough to do, with all our tugging and striving, to make both 
ends meet ; — ^it's hand-to-mouth work with us " 



THE KSST EOO. 243 

^' But then, at other times, Agne8,--*in yonr harvest, as I may 
say,— you might save something." 

*^It'8 ai£f7 talking, my lady,*' says Aggie; ^'and many*s the 
TOW we make in the hard season, to scrape a penny or so together 
the next good time : but when it comes,— my grief I-^-doesn't half 
of it slip away before one can look aboat ? — ^And then it*s too 
kite to begin : so it*s pnt off— the hoarding and squeezing time 
is — till another year. Besides, when it 8 all plenty galore with us, 
who thinks of starvation ? — ^It*B hard, too,«-so it i8,-~*to brake np the 
day's joy by robbing it of a few keenogaes for the morrow. We'd 
rather be merry— many of us would — one while, and sad another, 
than divide equally, and so go on, in the same dull way, from 
year's end to year's end, ndther hungry nor fbll, joyful nor sad, 
-«*>but just daoent, and half one thing half another. Moreover, 
when we have the money, away it goes at once ;-~we make merry, 
and pnt to sea again. The citizen may well think of to-morrow, 
and 8ave,->>for he goes to his bed, and, without a chance, to- 
morrow will be to. him another to-day: but the fisherman goes 
into the waves, and God knows, when his kin wish him *' Good- 
night!' whether he'll ever hear their 'Good-morrow!' It's so try- 
ing to begin, too :— the hen won't lay in an empty nest, nor is it 
aisy to put a penny by where there was no penny before. And 
if we do, Where's the good of our throwing aside a groat to-day, 
a mag to-morrow, and a shilling the next ?— At the week's end 
it's just so little, we despise it; and just so much, that it tempts 
us to have a spree :— drunkenness follows ; and so, after pinching 
from Monday to Friday, we spind the money, and lose the 
Saturday's trip into the bargain— so we do. One piece o' good 
gould in our by-comer would make us add more to it : one shilling 
to forty, makes forty-one,— a great sum; — ^but one shilling to 
forty-pence, makes four-and-four-pence ;— just enough for doing 
harm. 'Tis but a shilling either way, you may say ; but there's 
a difference in the two that one feels and knows, but can't spake 
about or explain.— I wouldn't wonder but myself saves upon your 
ladyship's gracious gift : any how, we'll never have to put the 
platter outside the door at a death, nor want a dacent wedding 
when the boys marry, while we keep it whole itself." 

And it's whole we've kept it then, and added more to it, and 
bought many's the thing to comfort us, which we never should 
have had, may be, if it wasn't for the nest-egg we got that way 
from my lady — blessiniss be on her I— So here's a fine proof, that 



344 TBR HBST Eoa. 

prorerbs ar'n't always to be depended upon. They gay three 
things, which may be true Bometimes, but not always : — the firet 
is, that Tortnne is blind :" — sow we'd good Inck come to na; 
and it's true we deserved it,— that is, Aggie did, if I didn't ;— and 
what's more, we wanted it. " Ai^ got, aisy gone ;" — that's m- 
other prorerb we've given the lie t« ; for what weVe l^d out we 
spmt discreetly, and on no occasioa without many'a the pro and 
con whether we'd do so or no. — Lastly, it's said, "An eel won't 
slip through oor fingers faster than the guinea that's given us ;"— 
bnt Fd knock that on the head any day, by shewing what we got 
from my lady the fiist day she set foot in my cabin, — and that's 
long ago. So that I, and, may be, a good many more, can say, 
" Fortune isn't always blind ; — aii^ got, may be held fast ;— and 
all eels sk not slippery." 



UNDER THE THUMB. 

Dttck Davie's wife's brother, Paddy Doolan, lives among his 
pigs, poultry, and potatos, over-right Mick's place, — the man 
that saw the little Fairy in the oysther-^hells. Faddy gets his 
bread by rearing turkies and geese,, and similar commodities, and 
baying bits o' pigs about here and there, where he can, and 
selling them at the market in the next town, — may be, once a 
month or so ; — and many's the penny Fat has turned one way or 
another, any how. Well, — ^Pat has a wife, — and not a bad one, he 
ought to think, if he looks about him and sees what other men's 
are, and draws comparisons. She's not very big ; but she has a 
black eye, and bustles about ; and though she wears a whiskey- 
bottle, she keeps Flat from doing himself harm from much 
drinking : and if she does have a drop between whiles, more than 
does her good exactly, why, she keeps up appearances, by always 
making wry &ces whenever she takes a sup of comfort afore her 
neighbours. She has a limp in her gait, but cooks a cobbler's 
nob dilicately ; and her temper's not bad, though not much better 
than just middling like the peathees, as we say : still, there's few 
in the barony with less holes, and holes sooner mended too, in 
her sherkeen, than Mistress Doolan ; and, as wives go, as I said, 
there's worse than Fat's. She's forty-nine years of age, come 
Candlemas ; but does not keep the house so clane as she might : 
— but then, to be sure, there's the pigs — 

Now for Fat : — ^he's bow-legged, — which comes, as his wife, who 
admires him, says, from his riding so much to and fro across the 
panniers on his garron to market and bock : but some think he 
was so from a boy, — still that doesn't matter ; — ^his 1^ are quite 
good enough for every-day work, and nature wouldn't be wise 
to give holiday limbs to a higgler — would she now ? Fat's fore- 
fathers must have been from beyond-sea parts, I think ; or how 
would he have such a pale face, and large dull black eyes, without 
one feature, barring the cocked nose, of us raal ould Irish ? K 
he was a fisherman, may be, he'd get a colour; but, as it is, 
though he never knows a day's sickness, he's as pale as a white 
night-cap ; and his big eye looks like a piece of sea-coal in milk, 
or a town chimney-sweep in a snow-storm. 



246 UNDER THS THUMB. 

Pat Beems bo innocent, that many suspect him to be a rogue, — 
a little sly, or that way inclined ; — ^bnt Fat says no, and so does 
Mistress Doolan, and that's something. People tell how much 
some men and their wives are ahke, — ^fiuth ! so much, as often to 
be taken for brother and sister ; and its true of Dick Reardon 
who buys Pafs poultry wholesale and sells them out retail, that 
he and his. good woman are as like one another, as a oonx^e of 
ducks. But that's not the case with Pat and his deary, for they 
don't match, and you'd wonder what made them mate. 

Seventeen or eighteen years ago, — I can't say preesdy to ft 
year, but Pll swear to the day, — ^it was a Tuesday ; by token, that 
it happened the day after Luna mon moch, — the good woman's 
Monday, — Fat's wife was looking out for him coming home finom 
market ; and as he rode down the hill, she saw one of the pan* 
niers on the poney weighed down as if it had a load, and the other 
up in the air. Pat, I must tell you, was the first who brought 
pamuers into this part of the country ; the likes o' them was 
never seen here before, and few with any but himself 8ince« 

''What ails you, Pat?" said the wife, as soon as Pat came 
within reach of her voice ; it's a little voice when you're near, 
but it goes a good way for all that : — '' what ails you ? " says she ; 
" couldn't you sell your turkies P" 

" May be, I couldn't ; what then ?" sa3r8 he. 

*' Then why not load the garron partly o' both sides P " 

*^ May be, I couldn't," says Fat again. 

" And why couldn't you ?" 

*' Mistress Doolan, would you like to be struck in a heap P" 

" Is it by you, Plat P— what news, then ? — any how why not 
spake it out P" 
* " Don't bother me now ; isn't it to The Beg Fm going ?" 

*' Wid a load you picked up on the road, Pat, is it P" 

" Aha I " says he, " can't I keep a thing from you ? " 

" What is it, Pat P" said she ; and he'd now just met the wife ; 
for, finding the conversation grow interesting, she had left the 
door, and walked away up the hill to meet him, quickening her 
pace at each question. ^ What is it, Fat P " says she, trying to 
peep into the pannier ; but Fat wouldn't let her. 

" Sally," says he, — for that's her name ; — " would you think it, 
that there's mighty bad people about P " 

" Why not P" says she ; " there's bad people all over the 
world." 



UNDEB THE THUMB. 247 

^' But not bad enough to put their babies on big stones by the 
road-aide, and lave them there by thimselves, wid a bit of a switch 
stuck up, and a shred of a souldier's red jacket on the top of it, 
the way people might notice thim ; — there's not such people as 
that all over the world I hope, — is there, Sally ?" 

^ Murther, man ! is it a child youVe picked up, then P" 

"" Look at that ! " says Fat, taking a baby out of the place, 
and houlding it up to the full yiew of his wife ; '^ look at that, 
and tell me if it isn't enough like a child for a man to swear by, 
Mistress Doolan ! " 

^ Won't you let me see it closer, Pat?" said Mistress D. 
And as she took the child out of Fat's clumsy paw, where he sat 
on the poney, the little crature smiled up in her fisuse, and half 
stole the very heart of her, before she had once hugged it to her 
side. It was the most beautiful baby, they say, that was seen for 
many's the day ; and Faddy Doolan's wife took it into the cabin, 
sat down by the fire, warmed it on her lap, and fed it with new 
milk, while Fat remained on his panniers, waiting for her to come 
out i^ain. 

'^ Is it all day you're going to be staying there. Faddy ? " says 
she at last ; '^ ar'n't you coming in P " 

" Ar'n't I waiting for the gorloch, to take up to The Beg ? I 
won't be sint back wid it, Fll engage." 

" Ah I Fat, why trouble yourself P — Couldn't we keep it our- 
selves ? — Good luck would follow us, — and we've no child of our 
own. Fat." 

Well, Where's the use of making a long story of it P — ^the wife 
persuaded Fat, with much ado, and a dale of begging and be- 
seeching, to let her keep the little crature herself; but he in- 
sisted upon first taking it off to the lady who bought The Beg. 

" m take the little thing up to her at Mice," says Fat ; " and 
may be, well get something for our charity." And sure enough 
so they did, for my lady kissed the little crature betuxt the two 
eyes, and gave Fat a trifle in hand, and promised to allow him so 
much a week, for keeping the child, until she grew-— did I tell 
you she was a gkl P — ^until she grew up intirely. And a fine young 
woman she's grown, and all the boys about are dying for her ;-^ 
as, to say nothing of her good-looking face, Fat has promised her 
a fortune of fifteen pounds ; and I don't know but it might be a 
match with her and my niece's son Faudrigg, wasn't it for erne 
thing ;— she won't have him. 



248 UNDER THE THUMB. 

Now, after this, though Paddy Doolan did well by the little 
one, and had the allowance, and over and above it often, from my 
lady, things didn't go right with him. He wint on swimmingly 
for two or three years or so ; but from that time, Pat's appear- 
ance grew poorer, and the wife's bit of finery wasn't brought.home 
so often, when Pat wint to market. And where he used to crack a 
joke with a friend, living by the road-side, as he came along, he'd 
sigh, and say uncivil things of this world, and make wry faces. 
You'll think Pat was right, for a good deed ought not to go 
unrewarded ; and you'll like to know how it was. PU tell you 
that in a few words, — ^more or less ; — ^it*s foolish to promise. 

At the place where Pat carried his property to market, there 
was a half-rogue of a fellow, — ^Larry Morris by name, — something 
in Pat's way of business ; but he also bought and sould badgers, and 
foxes, and poisoned rats for people ; and wouldn't mind, may be, 
tying up a dog that followed him home, and lying by till a reward 
was given out for the brute. What I mane to say is this, — Larry 
hadn't the very best of characters. One day, after coming from 
somewhere, where he'd been, it so fell out, that Larry passed by 
Pat Doolan's cabin, and who should be playing in front of it, but 
the child Pat picked up that time two years, or thereabouts. 

"Whose child have you there P" says he to Mrs. Doolan, 
who was plucking a duck or a goose at the floor. 

" Why do you ask, sir P " says she. 

" May be, I know the mother of it," says he. 

When they got inside the cabin, — ^for Mistress Doolan was a 
woman, and hearing what she did, of course, invited him in, to 
know the middle and both ends of the matter, — she b^an ques- 
tioning him : but he was too deep for her, and got the whole 
pedigree and nistoiy of Pat's finding the baby, and the lady's 
giving him money to keep it dacent, and what else I don't know. 
Says Larry, when she'd done, " I know the child as if Pd never 
lost sight of it. The features are oulder than when I last saw it, 
but not changed : and here's the four little round spots on its 
temple, like shot-marks, or the picks of a domino. Her mother 
lodged in a back room of mine, and ran away one day, no small 
trifle in arrear with me, and I never set eyes on her or the child 
since, before to-day. So much for the mother; — and" — con- 
tinued he, in the same breath, turning to Pat Doolan, who just 
then walked into the cabin, — ^'' may I be moon-struck," says he, 
pointing to Pat, " but here comes the father 1" 



tJNDEB THE THUMB. 249 

What to do, any way, Pat didn't know. You'll agree with 
me, perhaps, he'd a rigirt to look astonished. There was Mistress 
Doolan, who had lifted her eye-brows up under her hair with 
the surprise, standing as mute and as motionless as Fat himself^ 
whose tongue stuck to the roc^ of his mouth nearly ; while the 
child was innocently giggling below, and trying to undo Pat's 
gaiters. Ailer a while, Mistress Doolan found her speech. " Is 
this you, Pat ? " says she, quite quietly, for she was too thunder- 
struck to be in a passion. 

^* Faith! and why not, Mistress Doolan?" says he, "worse 
luck ! " — for it was true, and he couldn't deny it. And Larry 
Morris went on to tell the wife, that the child's mother said she 
was married, and made an excuse for her husband coming to see 
her now and then only ; and who should the husband be, but Pat ? 
Moreover, since she had walked off, the way I tould you, Larry 
had never seen Pat ; and, sure enough. Mistress Doolan remem- 
bered that Pat convinced her, about that time, it would be well 
for him to carry his poultry to another market ; and he did so. 

Doolan put as good a face as he could upon all this. Larry 
said he was sorry to be a maker of mischief ; but the rogue took 
advantage of it, for he drew Pat aside, and, from what passed 
privately between them, Pat carried his poultry afterwards to the 
town where Larry lived. 

From that day, poor Paddy Doolan pined ;— wouldn't any one 
in such a way P— Larry stood between Pat and the market, making 
Pat sell* all his poultry to him at an nnder-price, and then going 
to the great buyers that sould them again to the consumers ; so 
making a profit beyond Christian credence out of Pat. And what 
would you have Doolan do ? Wasn't he afraid of Larry's telling 
upon him ? And if he haggled to get any way near a fair price, 
didn't Larry tell him—" Paddy, boy, ar'n't you under my thumb ? " 
He did : and Doolan was as much afraid of the disgrace of being 
exposed, as the loss of my lady's allowance. So he struggled and 
stmggled, and every day got worse in the world ; and bitterly did 
he suffer and repent for what he had done. His wife didn't quarrel 
with the child this while, but loved and nourished it as if it was 
her own ; so did Pat — and he had a right, you'll say : — but I 
wouldn't swear to that ; for who knows but Pat himself might 
have been cheated, as well as he cheated Sally his wife ? 

Now Pm conling near the end of my story— no bad news that, 
you'll say ;— Pat was tortured for a long time by Larry, " like a 



250 UNDER THE THUIIB. 

toad under the harrow," as the story goes, till he could searedj 
scrape enough together to get on -with from week's end to wedc's 
end. At last and in the long run, what does Larry do, — like 
others like him, who, tiying to make the most of thdr yiUany, 
ruin all outright,— -what does he do, hut insist upon Pat's paying 
him half the idlowance he got from my lady, to hould his peace ? — 
Doolan knocked him down with a goose he had in his hand at 
the time ; jumped on his ganvm ; and if you want to know the 
rate he came home at, ask the people hy the road-side. Grogy, 
his little garron, wondered whether Ireland was sinking, or what 
was the matter, — and no blame to him. 

When Doolan got home, he tould the wife how he had mined 
himself by knocking down Larry. "You've done well," says 
she, " and it was high time you did."— Didn't you ever remark, 
that when a man gets at his wits' end, and don't know which way 
to turn, how well a woman will carry him through P Fm sure 
you have ; and seen the courage of the poor creatures too, when 
men are cowed, and can't look the danger that threatens them 
full in the face. " You shall be under the thumb no longer, 
Pat," says she : — " you've done that by me I don't like, but it's 
forgiven, if not forgot ; and let the worst xK)me to the worst, we'll 
be as well as we are :— so, come with me at once." 

^' Where'll I go?" says Doolan, staring at her, and drawing 
back, for he half suspected what she intinded. But Sally was 
resolute ; she took the child in her hand, and half persuaded, half 
dragged Pat away, up to my lady at The Beg. Doolan went down 
on his knees, while his wife tould her ladyship the whole stoiy ; 
and when it was done, Pat got such a lecture as he never had 
before ; no — not even from his wife after Larry's first visit. 

" Look at the fruits," said my lady ; " look at the consequences, 
Patrick Doolan, of your misdoings : — didn't you know that sin 
is always followed by sorrow ?— that deceit can never long plaster 
up iniquity ? You have richly merited your sufferings, Pat. I 
shall, of course, stop the allowance, and take away the child from 
you. When I find you are so far deserving, you shall have my 
protection, and the little girl again ; till then, I withdraw both." 

Terribly downcast was Pat, to be sure, as you may guess ;— 
but he was no longer under the thumb. Besides, he'd a hope 
left, of getting into grace again by good conduct ;— so to work he 
went like a Trojan. Larry came down as hard as he could after 
Pat, determined to ruin him or make him knock under again : but 



VKDXB THB THUMB. 2111 

when he got to the village, Fait inw back from The Beg, and had 
touM tdl his neighboon what he'd been doing ; m that they 
hadn't much the laugh of him ; and m Pat wiau't diiliked, the 
boys and girls made such a mndla^ <£ Lury, nobody could tell 
the colour of his coat. 

Fat began to prosper, and, by-aod-by, got on well enough : in 
a year or two after, the little girl wallced into hia cabin one day, 
with a goulden guinea in her hand, and hai lived under Fat's 
roof ever mnce. Among us, she is, as I tould yon, much admired 
for her beau^, — to lay nothing of her being an heiress. 

People generally trate a fable as the boys do a dog BometimeB, 
— tie a moral tay-kittle to its tail ; and so would I, if my stoly 
was a &ble : but it's neither a story noi a fable, but the downright 
truth, and if I made a moral to it, you'd snspect 'twas a fable ; 
as the boys nupect the dog, if they meet him wUh a kittle in his 
train, to be a suspdous and a stray dog,— don't you see 7 — and 
M> despise and pelt him. However, for all that, there can't be 
much harm in just mentioning that a man will do well to take 
wBxning by Paddy Doolan, and do nothing in the wide world 
thftt may bring him under the thumb. 



OUR TOMMY. 

We'd often be frightened out of our lives a'most, did we know, 
while we were about them, what mighty events, to ourselves or 
somebody else, would spring from some of our every-day doings. 
But it's right we shouldn^t. If it wasnH so. Faddy Doolan might 
be breaking his heart, for the sow that^s going to be choaked 
next Monday, by a bone he*ll throw into her trough to-night. 
There's none of our actions, big or little, in my mind, goes off, 
without leaving a family : something I did three days, — or, may 
be, three years ago, was the grandmother of something Pm doing, 
or that may befall me, to-day. Peg Dwyer's husband threw his 
can at the head of a cow, that wouldn't give out her milk as she 
ought, and one of her horns made a hole in its side. That hap- 
pened him on a Wednesday ; — ^very well ; — ^he wetted his floor, 
through carrying water in the can with the hole in it, on Thurs- 
day ; it froze in the night ; and early on Friday he got such a 
bruise, through slipping up on the floor, which he'd wetted by 
carrying water in the can that he'd thrown on the horn of the cow, 
because she wouldn't give milk, that it laid him up for a month, 
and killed him outright in the long run. A boy quarrels with 
his home and quits it, because he fancies he don't get as much 
buttermilk to his peeathees, or peeathees to his buttermilk, as 
some of his brothers ; he walks off with himself to the next town ; 
and, a year after, to the next to that, may be : by-and-by he gets 
taken by the tar, as birds are by birdlime ; and, after being aboard 
ship awhile, casts anchor in foreign parts. Before he can whistle, 
he's pushed another move further : and something or other con- 
tinues to poke him from place to place, and from post to pillar, 
till he reaches the wild Indians at last, and marries HuUamuUaloo, 
the king's youngest daughter, or gets roasted and devoured — 
just as it may happen — ^by that lady and her iligant maids of 
honour. And, supposing he'd a good memory, and could look 
back, while he stood tied to the stake, or about to be tied to 
Hullamullaloo at the altar, as the case might be, he'd And each 
of the moves he made through life was owing, one way or 
another, to something as simple as his quarrelling, when a boy 



OUR TOMMY. 253 

with his peeathees and buttermilk, at his mother's mud cabin here 
at home in ould Ireland. 

Poor Tommy Maloe got his liking for martial music, through 
thumping a drum, which he'd stolen from young Veogh, when 
they were both little boys, and didn't know right from wrong ; 
or if they did, wouldn't make a shew of what they knew, by 
doing as they ought. Though Pierce's parents were rich, and 
Tommy's were poor. Tommy was Pierce's playmate : they spent 
most of their time together, and were always at war, and fre- 
quently fighting. Tommy was the sole and only boy far or near, 
that would dare stand up before Master Pierce, when he clenched 
his little fist ; and there was few that Tommy would demean him- 
self to thump or play tricks with but Pierce. 

Tommy, as I said, stole a drum fh>m little Pierce, or may be 
carried it off as booty after a fray ; and it was from the delight he 
got by bating it with the drumstick of an ould goose, that years 
after, he bartered a new hat for a bad fife ;— from which time, for 
six months and more, morning, noon, and night, the fife was at 
Tommy's lips, and he trying to coax marches out of it, but couldn't. 
At last he threw it away in a pet ; and took to trapesing after 
Mick Maguire when he'd be going out to fire at, and sometimes 
shoot, the water-birds. Tommy, who was now grown a man 
a'most, never felt happier than when Mick would allow him to 
carry the gun ; and one day, while Mck's back was turned, some- 
thing or other tempted him to fire it off. By chance, I suppose, he 
shot a little bird— a tern, or a petrel it was->and from that time, 
Tommy talked of nothing but shouldering a musket, and getting 
a pelt at a Frenchman. He walked thirty miles over mountains 
and bogs, without a shoe to his foot, (for his father had hid them 
that he mightn't go,) to see a review of two companies of the 
Korth Cork, and three dozen of beggarly volunteers. 

Our Tommy— for that's the name he is best known by— from 
his father's always calling him so— though it was only to himself, 
a poor doating ould widower, he belonged ;— our Tommy, I say, at 
last determined to enlist. He wouldn't be satisfied, he said, until, 
as every one ought, he'd killed at least two or three of the 
enemies of his king and country. His father begged of him not 
to go for a souldier and leave him alone, when he could get good 
bread at home: but, though Tommy in other things was as 
dutiful as most sons, he wouldn't mind his father in this. At one 
time, however, it was thought he would forget the Frenchmen, 



254 OUR TOMMT. 

and behave himself; for he fell in love with one of the prettiest 
little girls in these parts, and offered to give up all thonghts 
of campaigning, and killing his share of the foreigners, if she'd 
have him. But the little girl gave him a downright darnl; 
and a week after that he got picked up by a recruiting-party at 
a fair. 

Tommy was all on fire to go abroad ; and it wasn^t long before 
he got his wish granted of being sent on foreign service. You'll 
think of the little drum, and the goose's leg, and the bad fife, 
and Mick Maguire's gun, and the review of the North Cork with 
the volunteers, and feel sad, for a moment, may be, when I tdl 
you, that the very first Frenchman he saw, run his baggonet right 
through poor Tommy, in a skirmish, before he could even ptdl 
his trigger, and killed him on the spot. ' 

When I say that Tommy was killed on the spot, I mane that 
he never stirred from the place where he fell ; though he lived 
long enough to see the enemy driven back ; and then, — as we heai^ 
from a disabled dragoon, who passed through this place on Ma 
way home a year after, — poor Tommy Maloe, though he'd been 
disappointed so sorely, — ^like a good boy as he was in the main,— 
departed this life with a smiling eye and a prayer on his lip& 
And I trust I may do no worse ; — though, I must confess, Pd 
rather die on a bad bed, than on the finest field of battle,— fi>r Fm 
not heroic ; and in my own mud cabin, than a grand hospital, — 
for Tm not ambitious. And yet I don't know, upon giving the 
thing a thought ; — dying is dying all the world over, and it don't 
matter much where we do it. I vras going to say too, that Pd 
prefer a natural death in ould age, to the honour of being cut 
off by a dragoon's sabre in my prime : but there*s a riddle aborut 
death no one can solve ; and it isn't often we see even the ould 
people go off and melt away like a mist. We may prate and 
preach as much as we plaze about hard deaths and aisy deaths ;-^ 
the horror and agony of going off one way, compared with 
another :--but there isn't a living soul on the face of the earth 
knows any thing about dying at last. Drowning is spoken of 
as being the least disagreeable by some ; others prefer a bnlkt ; 
one says one thing, and another says another; even himging 
isn't without advocates :— but I say, there's no knowing which 
is best, and which is worst; and we never shall know, thafs 
certain, until some of us is dead, and gets brought to life again ;— 
and that you know never can be : for it's nothing but blani€(7 



OUR TOMMT. 255 

aa honest man tells yon about the feelings of death, who has been 
relieved from suffocation by a lancet; or, to go further, it*s foolish 
to listen to what one that has been some time under water, 
aad gets picked up, and restored, as they call it,— to hear such a 
one tell what little or what much he suffered, with an idea of 
your gathering enough from his story to know what death by 
drowning is. If you do that, it*s mighty mistaken you are ; and 
ril tell you why s^-them people that gets restored that way or 
any other, no matter how, know but little about the thing, not 
much more than-myself or you :— and why don*t they ?— because 
they never have died^ You never met with a man in your life, 
that had died, out and out. You couldn't ; for them that dies 
c<»npletely never breathes mortal breath agsin. My father — 
rest his soul !— thought as I do ; and he*d say, when the fire of 
existence is once extinguished, it*s gone for ^ver and ever. When 
death has entirely done his work, the body is clay ; then the 
spirit departs, and nothing human can ever bring it back. A> 
man may He motionless, breathless, and, what*s more, senseless, 
at the bottom of a well, for an hour, or, may be, more, — who 
can tell ?— and yet not die. In that case, by clever means and 
much work, the dying embers of life may be brought to a flame 
again; but once fairly dead, we Ve dead for ever. And so, I 
say, that the man who gets taken out of the water and recovers, 
can*t say that he was dead. IVs true, he has gone to the door ; 
but has he passed over the threshold ?— answer me that I If he 
had, he wouldnH have come back to us again. Til engage I Don't 
you see, that we can't take a pair of compasses or a piece of tape, 
and measure exactly where Hfe ends and death begins ? And 
how do we know, when we take leave of a friend, because he 
don't move, and there's none o' the dew of life on the glass 
we put to his lips, >- that he's dead?— Tossing the arms, or 
gnashing the teeth, shews pain, but there may be greater agony 
without it ; for if we're violent, it shews we're strong ; and it's 
suffer we may, much worse perhaps, when we're so weak that 
we can't wag a finger. Well, then,— and this is what Pve been 
coming to all through my rigmarole, but I couldn't before,— how 
do we know that, — after the breath goes, and the limbs lose their 
power, and all is still,— the dying man, without breathing or 
moying, or his heart beating, don't feel the true grapple of 
death — the parting of soul and body? — Therefore, I say, as 
nobody ever came back, as I think, in body, — I don't spake of 



S56 OUK TOIOIT. 

ghosta, — from tbe clutch of our enemy, we don't know anything 
much about faim ; and it'> well we don't : — God be praised I all 
things in this world ia ordered for the best I 

It'ff little or nothing that's left me to add to my ftorj : — poor 
T(Hnmj Maloe's father, when he heard of the death of his son, 
got quite childish at once, and nnable to help himself any way; 
»D that he'd hare had tittle to look to, but his poor neighbours, if 
my lady hadn't pnt him down on her little list of pensioners, and 
paid Peg Dwyer to mind the poor soul, and make him as com- 
fortable, conndering all things, as be well could be. You may 
still Bee ould Darby — that's h^ name — strolling about, fkim house 
to houae, aa he did on the morning after the disabled dragoon 
brought us news of his aon's death, and telling every one who'll 
listen to him, how his beautifbl boy waa atmck through and 
through by a baggonet, like a souldier's loaf, — or a tommy, as it's 
called in the army, — when he wint to fight the French, in foreigQ 
ports. 



THE DENTIST. 

MiOAGHi Roe is known, for twenty miles round his house, as 
a cow-doctor, and a rat-catcher, and a man of tip-top talent in 
two or three dozen useful arts and sciences, — as he himself calls 
tooth-drawing, and dog-cropping, and all the things he*s famous 
for. He has the finest terriers and traps in the whole country ; 
and if there isn*t a fox to he found by the subscription pack, that 
Squire Lawless, and the rest of them has, nine miles off, at the 
brook of Ballyfaddin, they've only to send a dog-boy to Malachi, 
before sun-set, and he*ll have one in a bag, ready to turn out before 
them, by the morning. He's very sparing of talk, and when he 
spakes, it's in short bits ; and he'll look all the while as if he'd a 
right to be paid for his words : and it's well paid he is for them 
too, sure enough, by them that can do it. There isn't a hair's- 
breadth of a horse, from the crown down to the coronet, or below 
that again, to the head of the nail in his shoe, but Malachi knows : 
he's as much at home in the inside of a cow as that of his own 
cabin, and can tell where any thing is, as well in one as the other, 
— -just as if he'd put it there himself. But Malachi prides himself 
most on his skill in tooth-drawing ; and if you ask him what he 
18, he'll tell you — a dentist. 

It's full thirty years ago, since Malachi came to settle among 
us. You hadn't then to send for him if he was wanted, for he 
seemed to scent sickness like a raven ; and if your cow was taken 
m, the next news you heard was, that Malachi's horn was blowing 
on the hill ; and, in ten minutes more, he stood at your door, with 
a drench if you wished it. 

Malachi now keeps closer to his nest : still he's to be had, if 
you'll pay him his bill. He's looked upon as an oracle in most 
things, by every body except Heen, his wife, who thinks one of 
her opinions worth two of his, any day ; and though Malachi Roe 
is a wise man, I won't say but Been is right. If you knew him, 
you'd as soon think of saying black *was white, as contradicting 
the dentist : but Heen don't care a bawbee for him, and often 
tells him right up to his face that he's wrong. Malachi wishes 
ghe'd bide at home; but she'd rather be busy on the beach, 



258 THE DENTIST. 

haying an eye to the girls and women she employs to gather the 
dillosk : and, though feared, her goodness of heart secures her 
the love of every one of her neighhours — high and low. By all 
accounts, she must he the exact temper of her grandmother and 
namesake Been, the Meal- woman ; who, though left A widow, at 
eighteen, with a child looking up to her for support, never got 
married again ; hut kept herself dacent, and brought up her little 
one, without a ha'p'orth of help from man, woman, or child. She 
put on the manners and resolution of a man, with her weeds ; — 
the mills which her husband had occupied she kept going ; and 
managed so well, that she got more and more grist by degrees, till 
at last, the name of Been the Meal-woman, was known all over 
the country. 

Her child — ^it was a boy — grew up, got married, and did well, 
until about the time of his turning the awkward comer of fifty; 
then it was that his wife, who was three or four years younger 
than himself, — as wives should be, you know, — ^fell sick, and died 
away suddenly. No man could well grieve much more for the 
loss of his wife, than ould Been the Meal-woman's son did for 
his : he wouldn't allow her to be carried away up the country, 
and buried among her own kin, but insisted that she should be 
laid in his father's grave ; so that, one day or other, his own 
remains might be placed by her side. 

If you reckon the age of his son, and remember how soon 
after his marriage he died, you'll find that Been the Meal-woman's 
husband, at the time his daughter-in-law departed this life, must 
have been buried hard upon half a century. When the grave 
was opened, his coffin crumbled beneath the pickaxe ;-^ome of 
his dry bones were carelessly shovelled up by the digger, and there 
they lay among the earth, which so long had covered him. Be^n 
knew nothing of this : she had heard of the death of her son's 
wife, and made all the haste she could away from a distant part, 
where she was buying wheat, or selling meal, I don't know whidi, 
so as to be at the funeral. When she got near home, two or three 
people tould her that her husband's grave had been opened, to 
receive the body of her daughter-in-law ; but she wouldn't believe 
them : for all th^t though, she quickened her horse's pace, and 
made direct for the spot. The memory of her husband was still 
fresh within her, long as she'd lost him,— for her heart had never 
known a second affection. She didn't remember and so see 
him, in her waking dreams, a poor, broken-down, grey-headed 



THE DENTIST. 259 

otild man, tottering gradually under a load of infirmities, to 
death's door, with his temper soured by time and pain, and his 
afi^ions froze np by age : bnt whenever his form came across 
her mind, — and it's often she looked back to the two short 
years of happiness, she'd passed with him, — he started up to 
hex thoughts in all the pride of his manhood, — ^handsome, high- 
spirited, and affectionate, as be was a week before she parted 
from him f<Nr ever. 

The pe<^le were just going to lower the coffin of the Meal- 
woman's daughter-in-law into the earth, when Ileen reached the 
outer circle of them that came to the funeral. Without spaking a 
word, she made a lane for herself through the crowd, and at that 
awful moment, she suddenly appeared, speechless with fury, at 
the head of the grave. Her son shrunk from her terrible glance ; 
and every one within view of her, stood without motion, gaping 
in fear and wonder at the tall, gaunt figure of Ileen, and the 
features of her, distorted as they were by the grief— the rage — 
the horror--the agony she felt, — and wondered what was going 
to be the matter. After some little time, during which not a 
word was spoke, and nobody scarcely dared breathe, Ileen began 
to tremble from head to foot ; big tears gushed out of her eyes ; 
and says she : — " Is that you I see there, Patrick ? — Are you my 
son ? — And is this your father^s grave P*' 

^'Mother," says Patrick, ^^what, in the name of the holy 
Saints, ails you ? — Don't you see it's me ? — And ar'n't you sure it's 
my poor fether's last home ? — ^Where else would I bury my wife ? " 

" Your wife ! — ^And was it to buiy your wife, that you broke 
open my husband's grave P " 

" Of course it is, mother ;— what harm ? — Go on, friends." 

*' Stand back!" cried Been, in a loud and determined tone, 
placing herself betuxt the coffin and the brink of the grave ; — 
"^ Fd like to see the man who dare pollute the dust of my hus- 
band, with that of a strange woman ! I am the wife of him whose 
grave is here>-of him, and of none but him : I lay in his bosom 
when he was alive — and do you think, any of you. 111 stand by, 
while there's a drop of blood left in my veins, to see another be 
put in my place, now that he's dead P Have I lived for fifty long 
years with the hope of one day being united in death to the joy 
of my life, to have another laid by his side at last P — ^Who broke 
this holy earth P — ^What accursed wretch was it ? — ^Where is he ? 
•^Shew him to me — ^that I may grip him by the throat ?** 



260 THB DENTIST. 

'^ Mother, mother!" said Patrick, ^*fbr the flake of bim ymi 
spake oiy be not so violent I If IVe done wrong — " 

" ^yon've done wrong ? — ^Thank God, B&trick, it wasn't your 
own hand did this I" 

^* Well ! rm sony now that any hand did it : but it^ too late 
to waste time in words : and I must hare the remains of my wife 
respected." 

" Wretched — unnatural child ! — ^what respect have yon shown 
to those of my husband — ^my husband, and your father, Patrick ? 
— ^Oh ! this earth which covered him," continued Been, stooping 
to pick up a handful of the mould she stood npon, — and at that 
moment, for the first time, she saw the bones ! — She shrieked out 
at the sight, and no tongue could describe the look of agony which 
she cast at her son. 

Patrick, however, who'd more love for the wife he'd lived 
thirty years with, than the &ther he couldn't remember, much 
as he was grieved at the sorrow and anger of his mother, resolved 
that the corpse shouldn't be treated with a shew of insult : so 
says he to those about him, '^ Come, let us make an end of this ; 
I will set you an example." 

The words were scarcely out of his mouth, when Heen 
snatched np one of her husband's bones, and gave her son so 
violent a blow with it on his head, that he staggered and fell 
nearly senseless into the grave. 

His friends got Patrick out again as quick as they could : but 
before he recovered, Heen had carefully gathered up the bones, 
folded them in a kerchief^ which she tore off her bosom, dropped 
them into the grave, and proceeded to throw in the earth again 
with her hands. No one attempted to hinder her — but it was 
only when she had made the groimd level, and cast herself moan- 
ing, upon it, that the people persuaded her son to let them carry 
his wife's coffin away, and bury it elsewhere. 

Just such a one as Heen the Meal-woman, in temper and 
heart, is her grand-daughter Heen, the second wife of Malachi 
Koe : he'd a son by his first ; but has had no 'children by Heen. 
K Malachi's boy was a fool all his young days, — ^and he's not so 
now he's grown up — ^it wasn't Heen's fault ; for she behaved like 
a mother to him, and tried all she could to make him know a 
duck from a drawbridge, but in vain. At last, when he was about 
eighteen, Malachi got him a place in my lady's stables, under the 
grooms and coachmen she'd just had down with fine horses and 



TBS DSNTIST. 261 

new liveries from Dublin — wAy, nobody could guCK, except thrt 
she was going to give np being a widow. 

The fint day Mslscbi's boy got into the ttables, the groomi 
and posttllions permaded him thej were much finer denttetB than 
hia &tber ; and, to ccoTince him, they tied a piece of whipcord 
roond one of hia teeth, and fastened the other end of it to a stall- 
poat : then one of them came and threatened the end of bis nose 
with the praag of a pitchfork, to that the stripling drew back hia 
bead with a jerk, and out came the tooth. This, and two or 
three other of the nsual jokes that boys gets played in a stable, 
pnt yonng Malachi (HI his mettle ; so that, B^er awhile, his father, 
and eren oold Ileen herself, b^an to gloiy in him ; — thanks to 
the toitist whose only instrument was the prong of a jntchibrk. 



THE MUSHROOM. 

About six o'clock, or, may be, a quarter less, on a wet sam- 
tner's evening, all of a sadden the snn peeped out from behind a 
cloud, — as Comey Carolan said, — ^looking half ashamed to shew 
his face, after his bad behaviour all day, — and just cast a glance 
across the bog, to see who was that so merry and musical in Luke 
Fogarty's car, bating the garron that dragged it along, with his 
wooden leg in lieu of a whip. Who was it, then, but the piper 
of Drogheda, Comey Carolan himself, coming from a wedding, 
away somewhere in the hills, where he'd been drinking whiskey 
galore, and playing his pipes, night and morning, for the biggest 
half of a week I Luke Fogarty had sent his son Roiy with the 
car that morning, to bring home the piper, dead or alive ; for it 
was whispered by many, that great things would be doing in a 
day or two at our place here ; who by, or why for, nobody well 
knew ; but there was to be drinking and dancing : — and what 
would drinking or dancing be without himself? — ^I mane Comey 
the piper. 

The sun drew in his horns again, — if you'd believe Carolan, — 
as soon as he saw it was his ould Mend the piper ; but he shone 
quite long enough for Comey to discover that the big mile-stone, 
put up at the edge of the bog, by mad Henniker, years ago, to 
judge by the shadow it cast across the road, wasn't anything like 
its ordinary shape. Comey couldn't make out at all what it 
meant, or why it was ; but, as the car got nearer the mile-stone, 
the piper perceived that it carried an umbrella. 

"Well, to be sure, it's rainy enough, so it is," says Corney ; 
" but mile-stones, I thought, was made to stand vnnd and weather. 
Is that any one's umbrella there on Henniker's mile-stone ?— Be- 
kase if it's nobody's, why, then. Til go get it." 

The umbrella began to move, and presently Corney discovered 
that a gentleman and his dog was beneath it. There they sat, 
shivering, dirty, and making themselves as little as possible, on 
the top of the stone ; and barely able, the one to keep his tail, 
and the other the skirts of his coat, and the lower part of his l^s, 
out of the water ; which, after it rained unusually hard, — as it 



THE MUSHROOM. 263 

did that day, — got together in a pool raund the stone, and some- 
times rose over it entirely. 

** Come out o* that," said Comey to the gentleman ; *^ come 
away at once, sir ; and don*t he sitting that way on Henniker's 
folly all night ! May he you're Henniker himself, though, — and 
then, no wonder." 

The gentleman replied, as well as his shiyering would let him, 
that Comey was mistaken. 

" Then why stay there, sir ? " says Comey, " when we've room 
on the car for you, and the garron impatiait to he going I " 

*^ Look at the water," said the gentleman ; ^^ how am I to wade 
through it?" 

^^ Is it wade ? — ^Faith ! then, you'll have to swim soon ! But take 
your choice, sir : — I won't persuade you one way or another." 

" Where ami?" says the gentleman. 

" Where are you I — ^Why, then, look at the side of the stone, 
and youll see, cut in legihle letters, * hinb mdues fbom ahtwhebb :' 
and no mile-stone in the world ever spoke truer. Was it to 
gratify impertinent curiosity, do you think, that Henniker put 
up the stone P — ^Not himself, then ! — ^Mad as he was, he knew 
that it would he quite enough to make any man move on to he 
tould he was nine miles from anywhere 1 — ^What more did you 
want ? Would you have him keep a horse ready saddled, waiting 
'till you'd come?" 

" My mare has thrown me and ran away," said the gentle- 
man ; ^' and I merely got on the stone, so that I might shelter 
myself and my dog, from head to foot, until some one came hy, 
or the rain ceased." 

^^ Ceased ! " exclaimed Comey, bursting into a laugh ; ^ if you 
waited for that, sir, you'd stay till the crows removed you as a 
nuisance to the frogs in the slush there behind. Does it ever 
cease P—Divil a bit, then, for three miles round, morning, noon, 
or night, — summer or winter, — ^but keeps pelting and pattering 
away, at all times and in all seasons, as it has for hundreds 
of years, and will for ever and ever ;~«zcept once in a twelve- 
month, sometimes, and that's the fifteenth day of the month of 
July, when St. Swithin is too busy raining down upon the other 
parts of the world, to mind this which is his watery worship's 
home. It's fine weather here, if, with, three coats on your back, 
you don't get wet to the skin in forty minutes. I wouldn't insult 
the Saint, by carrying an umbrella, for Darner's estate ! Bad luck 



264 THE MUSHROOM. 

and ill chance is the hest Fd expect, and so may you ; for it's 
raining now just worse than ever I knew it but once. Had you 
no idea, then, where you were, sir ?*' 

** I had," says the gentleman ; ** but I wasn*t sure. I never 
came by this road to The Beg before ; and I askeA the boy that's 
with you where I was, when I met him hereabouts, full two 
hours ago ; but he grinned in my face.^ 

** Is it yourself that bate him, bekase he couldn't understand 
English?" 

*^ I certainly did lay my whip over his shoulders," says the 
gentleman ; " and the young villain then began to pelt me and 
my mare with stones, so that the animal feared to approach near 
enough to permit of my beating him again ; and at last she got 
unmanageable, ran away, and threw me off, — that is, I mean — 
threw me off, and ran away." 

'* Kory was right, then, and so I said while ago, when he 
tould me part of the story ; for you'd no business to bate him, — 
had you, now ? — ^But what makes you wait, sir ? If you don't 
come at once, why, then, good night ! — For it's not agreeable to 
be houlding a conversation such weather as this, with one on a 
mik-stone under a big umbrella. — ^Is it coming you are ?" 

The gentleman talked of borrowing a boat, or backing the car 
into the pool : but Comey said he couldn't get the one, and 
wouldn't do the other ; and, moreover, that the umbrella must be 
sacrificed to St. Swithin, for he wasn't reprobate enough to ride 
in its company. After many more words, the gentleman got 
down from the mile-stone, with his dog under his arm, and walked 
through the water like a cat through a puddle. At first he insisted 
on being allowed his umbrella; but Comey was resolute ; and away 
it wint,.at last, scudding over the bog, — ^frightening up thousands 
of birds, which flew screaming after it,— until it suddenly sunk 
in what's called *' The Saint's Piggin." The gentleman wasn't 
well seated on the car, before Comey thrust a bottle of whiskey 
into his hand, and threatened him with a quantity of discipline 
from his wooden leg, if he didn't take a good pull at it. 

^' It's merry we'll be, as whiskey and good stories can make 
us," said the piper ; " I don't care a bawbee for St. Swithin, while 
Tve a cork, or even a thumb- left, to keep him out of my bottle- 
But m not be disrespectM to the Saint, though, any way ;— why 
should I ?->He does me no more harm than my betters ; and if I 
offended him, mightn't he follow me, far and near, and rain (m 



THE MUSHROOM. 265 

me wherever I went P May be, you never heard how he served 
the little nation that lived here long ago :~how should you, that 
didn't know where you were, and you sitting on Henniker's 
folly P Why, then, TU tell you :— Once upon a time— long ago 
it was, in the (Jays of our forefathers— this place was peopled by 
Mathawns, and one King Ounshough reigned over them, and he 
and his subjects were all believers in blarney. Well, who should 
come to the king one day, but a man that said, if he got the 
weight of what he could ate during nine days, in gold, and had 
his own people to wait on him, he'd make all the spiders grow so 
big, that the ladies might wear their webs by the way of veils ; 
and after that, may be, for more gold, he'd carry his invention to 
such a pitch, that the insects should weave fishing-nets, strong 
enough to catch whales themselves, — ^to say nothing of salmon 
and. smaller fish. — ^W^ell, while he was at work, along comes 
another, who sould them a secret for planting trees in such a way, 
that they'd grow of themselves into ships : and, says he, ' for a 
trifle, I'll teach you how to sow hemp and flax, in little pots, on 
their branches, so that they may shoot up into ready-made sails 
and rigging; and all by philosophy, without a morsel of magic' — 
Wasn't this more than men could wish ? The boobies bit at the 
bait, — ^high and low ; and thinks they to themselves, * what fine 
fellows well be, to catch whales and conquer the world by philo- 
sophy!'— While the trees were growing, and the spiders were 
spinning, there comes another man, and says he, ' Don't you know 
me, any of you ?' — ^And some suspected they did ; and others was 
almost sure he was related to them by their mother's side ; but 
nobody owned him. So then, says he, * FU tell yon who I am : 
that moon yonder, that lights you, is my property ; you've had 
the use of it for .years, but Fve been too generous. I'm grown 
poor, and can't be liberal any longer : — you sha'n't have the light 
of my moon gratis ; so pay five hundred a year, or Pll put it out : 
and then whatll you do?' — Well, what they'd do, sure enough, 
they didn't know ; but before they'd done debating upon it, up 
comes a smart little man — a foreigner— who advised them to pay 
what was asked for the present, and if they'd subscribe for him, 
he'd get up an opposition moon, that should shine better, and be 
full all the year round, for half the expense of the ould one. 
Wasn't that too good an offer to be rejected ? — ^It was ; and the 
Mathawns bit at that too. But this wasn't all : — ^before the new 
moon was made, or the trees grown into ships, or the spiders' 



266 TRE MUSHROOM. 

webs big enough for yells, the people was persuaded by a traveller 
to let him build them an umbrella, that should be large enough 
to keep the rain off every inch of the country ; and it was to be 
so contrived that they could let it down by machinery, if the land 
wanted water, and put it up when they*d just as much wet as they 
liked. Now this was so great an insult to St. Swithin, that he 
began raining at once, and before they could put up their umbrella, 
dispersed the whole people ; — ^making the country a bog, as you 
see it ; and never ceasing to pelt away with his little pellets of 
water, from that day to this. But though they were scattered, the 
boobies wasn't destroyed. You may find some of their descend- 
ants in every comer of the world, who are as staunch believers 
in blarney, as ever their forefathers were in the days of ould 
Ounshough the king. — Isn't that a fine story for you, now, such a 
murdering wet evening as this ?" 

"Bathershin, man!" says the gentleman, with a sneer of 
contempt ; " call it a lie, and give me the bottle, for I'm cold 
after it." 

" Don't you believe it, then ?" 

" How could I," says the gentleman, " when it's lies, and you 
know it ?" 

" Then sorrow the sap out of my bottle you get, sir , and 
sorrow the step goes the garron, imtil you believe it. Arrah ! 
Rory, — pturr-r ! " 

" Pturr-r ! " roared Rory, at the top of bi3 voice, and stock-still 
stood the horse, as in duty bound. 

" Is it quite mad you are, you dirty blackguard ? " says the 
gentleman. 

" Blackguard your betters ! " says Comey : " Musha ! then, if 
the likes o' you was rolled in the bog, what harm ? — You couldn't 
be worse than you were ; for it's dirt itself you are ! — ril say that 
for you, since you put me up." 

" Ar'n't you an impertinent ould scoundrel ? " 

" ISTo doubt I am ; but the garron don't stir one of his four 
pegs till you believe what I tould you, while ago, for all that. I 
won't ride with a man if there's such a difference of opinion 
betuxt us." 

" Don't you see the rain how it pours ?" 

" Do you think I'm blind ? — or that I can't feel the water 
running in channels down the wet back o' me ? — But I'd weather 
the rain like a duck, in a good cause ; and it's promoting concord 



THE MUSHROOM. 267 

I am, betuxt myself and one that's nngrateftil and don't mind me, 
at this moment.** 

The piper was obstinate ; and after awhile, the gentleman was 
obliged to say he did'nt think the story a lie. It was then, only, 
that he got a sup of the whiskey ; and Comey gaye the garron a 
hint with his wooden leg, to be going. 

"Now," says Comey, "as we've made friends, — and I don't 
think I ever had an enemy but one, a whole day,— HI entertain 
you with some of my music : but, before I begin, Pll just remind 
you, that I said while ago, there was boobies everywhere, — 
didn't I?— I did, that's true enough, and Rory's one o' them. 
May be you've been tould of one o' the Fogarty family, who ties 
a lanthom to the horse's head, so that the crature may find out 
his grass in the dark ? — This is the boy that does it : — as though 
the ,Will-o'-Wisps, and Jack-Lanterns of the bog, wouldn't 'do 
what was wanted o^ them in that way, for a horse ? — Do you 
believe that now, or don't you P " 

" Is it a fool you take me for P" says the gentleman. 

" Yea or nay, just as you plaize. Arrah ! Rory, — ^pturr-r ! " 

" Pturr-r ! " says Rory again ; and the garron stopped so sud- 
denly, that the piper himself was like to have been pitched over 
his head. 

"Go on, and good luck to you!" cried the gentleman; "go 
on, and there's nothing youll say but what Pll believe ; for it's 
killed with the cold I am entirely ! " 

" Oh, fie t aAd the whiskey here at your elbow ! " 

The piper lifted his leg, and away wint the garron again. 
After much more talk, and two or three stoppages, Carolan at 
last says to the gentleman, " Now Pd like to know, sir,— may be 
you won't tell me, though ; — ^but why shouldn't you ?— " 

" Ask me no impertinent questions, and behave yourself in 
every respect, or you'll wish you hadn't a tongue in your head 
this journey, when you come to know me, — as perhaps you may." 

" Perhaps I won't, though ;— for Pve no great opinion of you. 
Perhaps, I won't know you to plaize you. But youll own Pm 
right in not riding another step with one that won't tell me which 
way he'd be going." 

"Don't stop the horse again, and you shall know at least 
where Pm bound to : — indeed, I tould you long ago» it was to 
TheB^." 

" Is it The Beg ?— and so you did, now I remember. May be- 

s 2 



268 THE MUSHROOM. 

you're a new butler ?— No ?— A bailiff, then ?— Yet why should 
you ? There's nobody there now that's in debt. And if you ar'n't 
either the one or the other, what can you be ?— But it's bad man- 
ners in me to be bothering my brains with guessing who you 
are, when I don't care about knowing. You won't go to The Beg 
though, anyhow, to-night ;— it's a long three miles from where we 
stop ;— a bad road and up-hill entirely, too." 

" Can I get a bed, think you P" 

** Why, then, Luke Fogarty's is the state cabin o' the whole 
place, and he'd give up his own bed any day to a stranger, though 
he hasn't the best of characters ; and Eamilies, his pig—" 

"His what?" 

"Ramilies, his pig;— they say she's a witch: she farrows 
nineteen, four or five times a year ; and she has tushes like ram's 
horns, only they're straight. She goes miles away by the sea-side, 
and walks into the water, like a Christian, to nuzzle up crabs 
among the rocks. It's often I've seen her scrunching them : they 
nips her— trust them for that— with their claws ; but Pm inclined 
to believe, the pinches she gets on her tongue serves by way of a 
fillip or sauce to the feast, by the same rule that donkeys like 
thistles that's prickly, and we ourselves mustard with pork. If 
I'd a house to pull down to-morrow, I wouldn't wish a better 
workman than Ramilies, if she hadn't her dinner, and there was 
fish inside, and the doors barred. They say, she drinks whiskey 
when she can get it :— but what need have you to be afraid ? Won't 
I be there with you ? — Sure I will. — Ramilies has no ear for music, 
and one blow of my bagpipes drives her. As to Luke, — why, if 
Luke shouldn't behave himself, it won't be the first time I've 
poked my wooden leg in the face of him, and broke his ugly deaf 
head, with the big hollow buU's-hom he has for an ear-pipe, into 
the bargain. Corney Carolan is well able for him, or any one 
else, if he's only awake." 

" Tm afraid your friend's cabin won't afford much accommo- 
dation for a gentleman." 

"Why, then," says Corney, "Til just give you a bit of a 
bird's-eye view of it, and you'll judge for yourself. As you go 
in, there's a remarkably fine dunghill, on each side of the door, 
built up as straight as two walls, — only a little loose at the top, — so 
that they forms a sort of artificial porch, or portico, to the house ; 
and, at the other side o' the window, there's another wall o* 
dung, that reaches chuck up to the gable. When you go in^ if 



THE MUSHROOM. 269 

you look to the right, there's a place where Luke sits and makes 
brogues, when he*s in the humour for it ; and you'll see a pair 
of channel-pumps, hanging by wooden pegs in the wall, which 
he made when he worked in Waterford ; and among the tools, 
—I mane, the awl, and strap, and stone,^no doubt but there's 
the broken crockery he had his dinner in, this day six months, 
when he'd a fit o* work on him, and wouldn't, for a moment, quit 
the brogues he was then making, and which ar'n't finished yet, 
nor never will : for the next time he sits down to work, he'll 
begin another pair, and laye off again, when he's just done thiee 
quarters of each of them. Though he's the finest workman, they 
say, within seyen baronies, Luke and his family are the best cus- 
tomers to Jack Sheelan the shoemaker, in the whole place : for 
Luke has other ways o' getting money than with his hammer 
and awl, — ^it's himself that has, then ! He's come of a fine family 
too, — ^though I say it, that's his cousin, — for he's a Sweeney by 
birth, and has a right to be called so : he was, long ago, and 
would be now, if he hadn't quarrelled with his father's family, 
and sworn, out of spite, never to wear their name again as long 
as he breathed : so he took to his mother's — she was a Fogarty ; — 
and you couldn't ofiTend him more any way in the world than you 
would if you upset his whiskey, singed his nose while he waa 
asleep, or called him Luke Sweeney." 

^' He's a room above stairs, I hope," says the gentleman. 

'^ He had; and the floor of it went three parts across the 
kitchen ; and when you got up, you could look over a board and 
see your peathees boiling below for breakfast : — and you might, 
to this day, if the rain hadn't soaked through the ould thatch 
and rotted the timber, so that it fell down with nineteen of us, 
one night at a dance, years and years ago." 

" Then ni be compelled to sleep with nothing above me but 
the bare thatch!" 

" That, and the cobwebs :— and youll see how the big spiders 
will run down their little ropes, and dangle over the table, when 
Fm playing Garry -hone-a-gloria !— But there's no harm in the 
cratures ; nor much in ould Kanulies herself, if she hasn't been 
drinking. Fve known her get so drunk, on beer-grounds they 
gave her at The Beg, that it took seven men and a boy to bring 
her home, with Luke Fogarty's sister going before, pinching one 
o' the little pigs, so as to make him squeal out, by the way of 
wheedling her on quietly." 



270 THE MUSHROOM. 

" Right glad am I that Tve my dog to watch me : — but, of 
course, they'll keep her out if J ask it," says the gentleman. 

" They will, if she'll let them ; hut her word isn't worth a 
bad song, if you could get her to give it ; — and you couldn't, 
could you ? — ^But, na bocklisk / hav'n't you your dog ! — ril pro- 
mise to persuade Fogarty to give you up his ovm little black oak 
bedstead, that stands beside the chimney : and then who knows 
but you'll get the canvass bed stuffed witlji louchaun — that's the 
chaff that comes from the oats when they're winnowed — and 
three rugs to cover you ! But what's better than all, though we 
shouldn't^ be there till midnight, — and, faith ! then, we won't at 
this rate, — ^there'll be an iligant supper, and all the gorlochs — 
except Susey, the eldest — ^put to bed. What'U we have, you'd 
like to know, eh ? — ^Well, then, Td tell you, if I could, but I 
can't. May be, if Luke's had luck lately, we'll get a bonnov, — 
that's a little pig, you know ;— -and if not, there'll be a cobbler's 
nob, and a dish of caulcannon :— at any rate, we're sure of hot 
ghindogues and praupeen, or stirabout, or shloucaun, — ^that's the 
sea- weed, — the diUosk, you know, that the girls gather, boiled 
down to a nicety, and which, as they say, is what Saint Ambrose 
lived upon, and the same thing you rade of in books, by the 
name of ambrosia. Kory tells me they'd a breast of mutton, — 
he don't precisely remember what day, but it was lately, — and 
we'll get that made up into beggar's-dish, with onions, and a 
bit of tripe, may be, if it's not eat, and Ramilies hasn't stolen it. 
That pig's a witch, as I tould you before ; but sure you needn't 
mind her with your dog, need you ?— If it comes to the worst, 
we're certain of peathees, trundled out hot from the crock in the 
middle of the big table, with a clane hoop on it to keep them 
from rolling off : and what's finer than peathees when the^re 
smoking, and grinning at you through their red jackets ? With 
them and milk (TU engage for him, Luke will be able to give 
you your choice, sour milk or new) and two or three pi^ins o* 
pothien,— we'll be gay as drovers, and sleep sound wherever we 
fall. But Fm houlding out all these fine things to you, only to 
shew you what good luck you'll miss, if you don't tell me who 
you are, and what is it you'd be doing at The Beg; for it wouldn't 
be well of me to bring home any one, without knowing head nor 
hair of him, to my cousin Fogarty's, — ^would.it, now ?" 

^' It isn't at all necessary that I should satisfy your cariosity/ 
says the gentleman. 



THE MUSHROOM. 271 

^ May be, not ; bnt I think so : — so we*d better settle the point 
before we go further. Arrah ! Rory, — Pturr-r I " 

" Pturr-r I " says Rory ; " pturr-r, pturr-r ! ** says he ; but the 
garron was now too near home to pturr for the brightest man 
that ever stood in shoe ; and instead of stopping, he put his best 
kg forward, and carried the car dane up to Luke Fo^urty's door, 
some minutes sooner than he would have done, may be, if nobody 
had said " Pturr-r 1 " to him at all. 

^ Kead mille £Eiltha ! " cried Luke, as soon as he saw the 
piper ; " long looked for, come at last ! — But who's this with you, 
Ck)niey?" 

^^ Faith ! I don't know, then," says Carolan, who wasn't at all 
plaized with the garron, that he didn't stop when Bory bid him ; 
*^ I don't know a ha'p'orth about him," says he, with his mouth 
close to the big end o' the crooked buU's-hom, that Fogarty held 
to his ear ; *^ I found him, after losing hia horse, sitting up upon 
Henniker's mile-stone ; and it raining harder than usual : — so I 
took him on the car ; but he wouldn't tell me who he was. He's 
high and mighty enough to be a king ; and, may be, if the top 
of the dirt was taken off his clothes, we'd find him dressed like 
a gentleman." 

*^ Arrah! Comejl now I look at him again, and that he's 
wiped his face, I think I know him. — You're welcome, sir," says 
Luke to the stranger, who couldn't but hear what the piper had 
said, yet took no notice of it ; " you're welcome, sir, to a poor 
man's place, and the best Pye got, this bad night : — ^but don't I 
know you somewhere ? — Then, if I did, what harm ?" — continued 
Luke, seeing how the man drew himself up, and, putting on his 
airs, didn't condescend to answer what was said to him ; ^' If I 
did know you, what harm ? — and, faith ! then, I do, Comey ! " 
says he, turning to the piper ; '^ sure you heard of one Andie 
Hogan, that got a mint o' money a'most, by selling little bonnets 
he made o' the paper they puts on the walls of fine houses, to 
the women and girls at pattams and fairs, far and near ; — didn't 
you, Comey ?" 

** I did," says Comey, with his mouth at the buirs-hom, " and 
how he advertised the fine fortime he'd give his lame daughter ; 
md how, while he was making a great match for her, one Purcell, 
a bit of a tailor, away there at Dungarvan, ran off with her. 
Sore Pve a story as long as from here till to-morrow, and two 
or three songs about them. Didn't ould Hogan make it up with 



272 THE MUSHROOM. 

Purcell, and lave him all he bad ? And didn^t the tailor turn 
upstart when he*d got the money, — ^and wouldn*t look on bis 
own relations, but cocked his nose at them, and every body that 
used to know him, as though they were dirt ?" 

" Well then, Comey," says Luke ; " and if you never saw him 
before, you can get a look at him now, for this is himself.** 

" Oh ! pullaloo ! murther and horse-beans ! " shouted Comey ; 
" and is it with Purcell Tve been riding ? — "No offence, sir, — ^and 
I beg pardon for being bould in the bog there ; — but are you 
now, without a word of a lie, — are you the Mushroom ? ** 

" I hope Vm not brought here to be insulted," says the gentle- 
man. 

" Well I but are you Mr. Purcell— or are you not ? Is it you 
that's own cousin to that Thady Purcell, whose widow is married 
to Jack Forrester— ould Timberleg Toe-trap's club-footed son ^ 
Are you the Dungarvan tailor that snapped up Andie Hogan's 
lame daughter, or is Luke a liar ? — ^Answer me that now, and 
there'll be an end of our talk." 

" I shall not remain here another minute," says Purcell ; for 
it was indeed himself — and Luke Fogarty had seen him at The 
Beg, dunning young Veogh, for money Pierce owed him, long 
before : — "I shall try if I can't get civility, at least, under 
another roof ;" says he. 

" Sure, Pm not uncivil," says Comey ; " or, if I was, I didn*t 
intind it." 

" Then have done, fellow !'* 

"Is it * fellow*? — Well! calling me names don't break my 
bones, or Pd give you a poke with my toe, so I would ; and 
there's not much harm in ' fellow :' — Tye been called more than 
that, without taking the trouble to put myself in a passion, — and 
why should I with you ? Any how, Pll make up my mind to 
this : — you're one o* the wonders, ar'n't you ? — ^Pm sure of it : — 
for you wouldn't so quietly hear yourself accused of being Andie 
Hogan's son-in-law, if it wasn't a true bill. Well, to be sure, 
Pve had grate luck, one way and another : — ^I saw Lord Nelson, 
and the Giant's Causeway, and the Saltees, and Kilkenny coal, 
and the horse with two heads, and Mick Maguire's relation, that 
swore against the priest, and now I see the Mushroom ! — ^what 
more could I wish ?" 

" By this time Luke had got out his best pair of yam stock- 
ings, and the channel pumps, he made when he was a journeyman 



THE MUSHROOM. 273 

in Waterford, and the newest clothes he had, and msisted upon 
Purceirs laying aside his own for them : hut the Mushroom, in- 
stead of minding him, whistled his dog, and seemed to he going. 
Comey, however, put his leg across the door, and Luke himself 
got a hold of Purcell hj the coat, and swore heM not let him 
hudge a foot : — " Sure," says he, " you wouldn't think of insult- 
ing me so in my own house ! I couldn't let a dog go from under 
my roof such a night as this. If you lived hut a stone's throw 
away, I'd he wrong if Td let you stir : though they say you were 
the first that arrested Fierce Yeogh, it matters hut little to me. 
May be I like him ; may be I don't : but if Td give you a crack 
on the head for so doing — ^I won't say I would though, why 
should I ? — but in case I would if I met you abroad in company, 
yet in my own house, coming into it as you do, I could not but 
make you welcome, you know. There's iny own bed in the comer 
for you ; and after supper TU give you as much whiskey as you 
can carry into it from the place where you'll sit." 

Luke Fogarty now gently pushed the Mushroom back to a log 
o* wood that stood for a chair by the hearth, and began to un- 
button his coat. But Purcell wouldn't demean himself so much 
as to have the likes o' Luke for a valet, and put on the stockings 
and pumps, which was all he'd accept, without any assistance. 

I won't tell you what was served up for supper, by Luke's 
fflster, who was his housekeeper, — the wife being dead, — ^in the 
state cabin that night, for I didn't hear ; and if I did, I forgot : 
neither, for the same good rason, will I say what songs the piper 
sung, or what tunes he played on his pipes, or how many piggins 
of whiskey was drained : but I know this — that Luke Fogarty 
reeled in his way to the place where he was going to sleep ; and 
that he left Comey, with the pipes by his side, snoring away on 
the bare floor, with nothing upon him but what he could stand 
upright in, except a bit of a rug, that Rory, by way of a joke> 
had thrown on his wooden leg, to keep the end of it warm. 
I As soon as Luke was gone, the Mushroom got into the bed that 
Comey had described to him, and bad as the accommodation was 
for one of his way of living, he soon fell fast asleep. Though 
he said nothing about what business brought him to The Beg that 
night, it was known, afterwards, that he was called there by letter, 
to receive whatever Pierce Veogh might then be in debt to him. 
And I must tell you, he wasn't among the creditors that had 
security on the land, or the house, or what was in it ; but only on 



274 THE MUSHROOM. 

Pierce himself, who'd often been worried by him, and never could 
get clane out of his debt ; for if he paid him to-day, Purcell would 
have something else due against him in a month. And to tell 
the truth, Pierce had so borrowed of Purcell — at short dates, and 
long dates, on bills and on bonds, and annuities, and I don*t 
know what else, — ^that if you'd give Pierce the world he never 
could tell how the reckoning stood. It's been said by many too, 
that Purcell bought up many of Pierce's debts that was lying out 
against him, for a mere song ; and contrived to keep him in con- 
stant fear, and afraid to shew his face near the place of his birth, 
if he wished it. And why so, you'll think ? Why then, some 
people suspect, that Purcell had a mind to make up to the lady 
that bought The Beg, when it was sould by Pierce's creditors ; 
and wished to keep him away from her ; as he well knew, they'd 
once been in love, and now^that she was a widow, he couldn't but 
fear that they might think of ould times, and renew the connexion. 
And it's true for him, Purcell might well think himself a match, 
as far as wealth went, for that lady, or any other : his wife died 
two years after he run off with her, and he'd so twisted and turned 
the money her dad gave him, and, though a rank rogue, had such 
luckf that he was ten times richer than Andie Hogan could ever 
expect to have seen his lame daughter's husband : but neither 
father nor daughter lived to see him in them days, when he held 
his head highest. 

Did you ever in your life awake and find a slip-knot tied round 
your great toe, and somebody pulling away for the bare life at 
the other end o' the cord, and you not able to see who your enemy 
was ? — ^If you didn't you've missed what's a million times worse 
than the night-mare, — or a pair of cramps knitting the muscles 
into knots under each of your knees. If you didn't ever get 
that trick played on you, it won't be possible for you to imagine, 
or conceive, or picture to yourself, how matters stood with the 
Mushroom, when dawn broke on him, there where he lay, on 
the little louchaun bed, in Luke Fogarty's state cabin. It can't 
but occur to you though, that he'd no right to consider himself 
quite in paradise, when I tell you that he was awoke and dragged 
almost out over the foot of the bed, by an invisible something 
which operated upon his toe. He had felt two or three twitches 
before, but he wouldn't believe that any thing much was the 
matter, and thought he'd go to sleep again, and forget it. Bnt 
the pull I spoke of wasn't to be bamboozled away so aisily: 



THE MUSHROOM. 275 

he couldn't but notice it— for he'd never felt any one thing in the 
world half so unpleasant before. And this wasn't all ; — at the 
same time that he found himself maltreated in the toe, his ears 
were serenaded with a din so horrible, that he couldn't but think 
there was goblins about him ! The first thing he did, was to throw 
the clothes from his face, — ^the pull having buried the head of 
him beneath them,— and then, naturally enough as you'll say, he 
looked down to the foot of the bed. It was just light enough for 
him to see what was the matter. He'd tied his dog Pompey, as 
he thought, to his wrist, by a bit of cord, so that the least motion 
of the animal might alarm him : but, lo and behold ! the cord 
was now strangling his toe in a running-knot, and the poodle half 
hanging himself^ by pulling away with all his might at the other 
end of it 1 There was the dog in a right line with the foot of the 
bed, — ^the eyes of him nearly starting out of his head, — ^yelping as 
well as the cord would let him, and looking, as though it was his 
own opinion he hadn't three minutes to live ! 

The first thing Mr. Furcell thought of doing, was to coax the 
animal to come nearer, and by that means aise him ; for his leg 
was pulled out so straight, that though he tried hard to get a 
clutch at the string, he couldn't. " Pompey ! Pompey ! " says he, 
" come here, you rogue !— Murder I— Whew ! Whew ! Poor fellow, 
then I — ^Bad luck to the dog !— What ! Pompey, then !— Murder 1" 

All this time Pompey wasn't idle : he'd got his master lower 
in the bed, and the Mushroom found all at once, something bristly 
scrubbing his foot. It was then for the first time, he perceived 
what was making part of the strange noise he heard, — and what it 
was too, that Pompey was strangling himself to get away from. 
Comey Carolan lay on the floor betuxt asleep and awake, — 
neither quite drunk, nor altogether sober,— blowing his bagpipes 
as though he'd burst them, but without producing such an effect 
as he'd predicted they would ; for athwart midships, between the 
foot of the bed and Pompey, stood Ramilies the pig, bristhng up 
the long hairs on her back, curling her tail nearly into a knot, 
gnashing her tusks, frothing away at the mouth, like a beer 
barrel that's in work at the bung-hole, and telling Pompey, as 
plainly as she well could, that she felt very indignant at his pre- 
sence, but nevertheless quite willing and able to devour him. She 
had poked through a firesh-mended gap in the wall, to get at a 
basket of crabs, which Luke bought the night before; and there 
was the nineteen little ones, that she'd farrowed that day month, 



276 THE MUSHROOM. 

squeaking in chorus to her own grunt ; and what with Fompey's 
yelping, and the piper's playing, and Purcell's exclamations, and 
the shouting and shrieking of Luke Fogarty*8 sister and seven 
children, who soon came running, just as they were, from their 
beds, and the noise of the cocks and hens, and the pinches the 
little pigs got from the claws of the big crabs that Ramilies had 
npset out of the basket, and which was now crawling about the 
floor, they ran over the bed, and under the bed, and raced about 
(he place, just as if they were out o' their wits. 

All this noise couldn't go for nothing : the whole place was in 
arms ; — Mick Maguire fired off his gun through a hole in the 
thatch, and Bat Boroo, flourishing his big stick, took Mick under 
his command ; for he thought the French was landed, at the least, 
— and no blame to him. 

When the neighbours broke in Luke Fogarty's door, they 
found things going on nearly as I described just now. Comey 
was still blowing the pipes, and the Mushroom roaring, and 
young Rory Fogarty dancing about in great glee, with the black 
crock the peathees was boiled in on his head ; and the little pigs 
racing about, and the cocks and hens cackling, and Ramilies 
preaching to Pompey. Luke Fogarty himself crawled from a 
comer where he'd been snoring, and putting the bull's-hom to his 
ear, before he could get his eyes open, says he, " Don't I hear a 
noise ?" But a moment after, when he peeped through his sore 
lids, and saw what was going on, he grinned with glee ; and 
putting the horn to his mouth, blew something so much like a 
charge on it, that Bat Boroo, who that moment came up to the 
door, faced about, and retreated in good order, but quick time, 
laving all the glory and danger to Mick, who didn't run for two 
rasons: — ^first, because he didn't notice Bat making away^with 
himself; and next, because he knew nothing about the nature of 
a charge. So in he marched among the rest of the neighbours, 
with his gun, as usual, full cocked in his hand. 

** Shoot! shoot!" says the Mushroom, as soon as he caught 
a glimpse of Mick ;— and " Shoot ! shoot ! " says the neighbours ; 
" why not shoot at once, Mick ! " 

" Aisy ! aisy ! all of ye," cried Mick ; " aisy, and don't bother 
me ! * Shoot ! shoot !' says you ; but who'll I shoot ?'-Ib it ould 
Ramilies or the dog ?" 

" The dog ! the dog ! " says the neighbours. 

" No !— the pig ! the pig ! " says PurcelL 



THR MOSBBOOM. 277 

" See that, now ! " cried Mick : " W»sn't I unlucky all my life ? 
If rd a double-barrelled gun, I'd oblige both parties at once, and 
then there'd be no quarrelling : but I hav'n't." 

Just then, ould Malachi Uoe made hia appearance in his red 
night-cap, and having the handle of an ould huntmg whip, with a 
brass hook and hammer at the end of it, by way of a weapon, in hia 
hand : he wasn't a moment in^de the door when, without saying 
a word, he pushed Rory Fc^arty, who was laughing most furiously, 
plump against Ramilies, and taking a knife out of hi£ pocket, 
cut the cord by which Fompey was tied to the toe of his master. 

Malacbi had news too of Mr. Purcell's mare ; and while the 
people still stood loitering about Luke Fogu^y'B door, and Comey 
was telling the Mushroom, that all his bad luck was owing to his 
carrying an nmbrella on the bog of Saint Swithio, the mare was 
brought up by somebody— I forget who it waa— that had caught 
her. You'd think, perhaps, that Purcell's pride might be brought 
down a little by what had befallen him: bnt no, — he strutted 
out of the cabin without condescending to say he, baw, or a civil 
word to any one; and rode off to The Beg—mushroom as he 
was — with his nose in the air, aa though the ground wasn't good 
enough for bun to look on. 



THE DILLOSK GIRL. 

Tm a bad hand at describing a beauty, but Til try my best to 
give you an idea how Norah Cavanagh looked when she was 
twenty. The nose is a part of a woman's face that few people 
spake of in reckoning over her charms ; but, in my mind, it's 
worthy of notice, as well as the eyes. Norah's nose was neither 
long nor short ; too thick, nor otherwise ; turned up nor down ;— 
but just delicate, fine, and growing straight from her brow, in a 
way that it was beautiful to behould, but next akin to impossible 
to describe. There wasn't much colour in her cheek, but the hps 
made up for it : you may talk of cherries for a twelvemonth,— 
but there never was cherries so temptingly red as the lips of 
young Norah ; and when she opened them, you saw two rows of 
teeth, — not so white as the inside of an oysther, but of a colour 
you loved better; for they was just exactly as a healthy and 
handsome young woman's should be; — and they sparkled and 
seemed to laugh, every one of them, when their owner did. Her 
eyes wasn't blue nor black; no, nor grey; nor hazel; but a 
mixture of all, and not a bit the less beautiful. When you gazed 
into them, they was like a picture; for there seemed to be a 
little view of some place in each of them. But this wasn't 
noticed at a distance ; and it's few knew of it, but those who had 
dandled Norah when a child ; for she kept the boys off when she 
grew up, and, if anything, was thought to value herself a little 
too much, considering she'd nothing. Norah's hair wasn't so 
white as to make her look silly : — it had a dash of light auburn 
upon the ends of the curls ; and when the sun shone upon them, 
they had a gloss that dazzled the eyes of all the boys about. Was 
I but younger that time, I think I'd have been in love with little 
Norah myself ;— and won her, perhaps, away from them all :— 
who knows ? — 

Norah was as nate in her dress as she well could be,— with 
the little she got for the dillosk she gathered : and on a Sunday- 
faith ! then, who but she !— She'd her stockings and shoes, and a 
clane cap, as well as the best to be seen at Mass. Miss Honor, 
and James Dingle's other two sisters,— next to the great lady 



J 



THE DILLOSK GIRL. 279 

at The Beg,— are the finest folks in these parts ; for their annt*s 
a great farmer, by the two-mile-stone firom this : and they would 
often he saying,— them curls, that came out in clusters under her 
cap, didn't become a Dillosk-girl ; and tould her she'd have more 
friends, if she'd comb them back, smooth and sleek away behind 
her ears : but Norah said, she couldn't ; for curl they would, 
whether she wished them or no. This wasn't believed by the 
young ladies ; they couldn't credit that a Dillosk -girl's hair would 
curl up in that way, without as much time being spent about it, as 
there was upon their own long, black, horse-tail locks ; and they 
said, — ^Norah Cavanagh had better be at her devotions (though 
they themselves wasn't Catholics) than to be wasting time twist- 
ing up her tresses to allure the young men at Mass. And after 
that, when Norah wint, for a day or two now and then, to help 
their aunt's maids at a busy time, and they got convinced, by 
living under the same roof with her, and watching her closely, 
that Nature was Norah's frizeur, they tould her, she ought to cut 
off her locks if she'd wish to look dacent and get respected. But 
though Norah wasn't obstinate in anything else, she was in this ; 
and wouldn't do as they bid her. You'll say she ought, perhaps : 
but, feith ! there's many things we ought to do, though we don't do 
them ; and there's many a beggar-man's daughter wouldn't barter 
her hair for a silk bonnet :— if you doubt what I say, try two or 
three, and you'll see. 

Norah was little, but nate and well-made :— hasn't it ever 
struck you, that Nature often finishes off the little folks better 
than the big ones ? — Whether it has or no matters but little ; for 
if there never was another that was at once little and nate, Norah 
herself was ; and even those that disliked her never denied it ; — 
and she had her enemies, and not a few, I promise you. The 
girls hatedher, for stealing away the bojrs' hearts from them all ; 
and the boys, after a bit, wouldn't give her a good word, because 
she'd refused them. 

" Now you'll think, after this, Norah got married to some great 
lord ; — ^but she hadn't the luck. The fairest bird in the air gets 
caught for its plumage ; while the owl, and birds like him, go 
through the world with little danger ; and just so, beauty, that 
always adorns, too often destroys, them that has it :— but that 
you've heard before, no doubt, in them same or other words, and 
a great deal more, to the back of it, which I could spake, if I 
liked, but I won't. It will answer every purpose, I hope, if I 



280 THE DILLOSK GIRL. 

say plainly, that it got whispered Norah had met with a mis- 
fortune. I won't tell you how the girls giggled at this ; that*s 
needless ; — ^nor who it was that pretended to pity her, and tried to 
worm out of her who'd heen the destruction df her, — ^but they 
couldn't : — ^that would be making a story that's too long already, 
longer than it is, wouldn't it ? — so I won't. You'll be satisfi^, 
and, may be, a little vexed, to know that, after a time, when Korah 
wint out to gather the dillosk, there was a baby at her back. 

It was a little thing, — ^very little, — ^not much bigger than a 
fairy ; but quite strong and healthy, and as handsome as a mother 
need wish. It was a little picture of Norah, but not like any 
one else that ever was seen in these parts : so nobody could tell, 
by a feature or look, who had a call to it ; and no power or per- 
suasion could make Norah say whose it was. Mistress Doolan, 
that time, it was thought, used to follow Paddy, her husband, slily, 
when he wint out sometimes after dusk for anything, to see 
would he be going the way to little Norah*s cabin ; for it's said 
of her, she had some little suspicion, — or fear, may be, — ^that 
Pat might have been backsliding, and playing the same sort of 
trick that, at last and in the long run, brought him under the 
thumb. But she was disappointed intirely : for Pat never had 
the misfortune to turn the way she feared he would, — ^no, not 
even by chance. 

Norah got paler and much thinner, and her lips lost their 
colour, and her eyes sunk ; but she was just as tidy as before, 
and held up her head bouldly, in spite of the sneers of her neigh- 
bours ; so that the few half-friends she had left was obliged to, 
confess she was a bit too barefaced. But, musha ! then, was it a 
soul in the barony — ^that is, boy or man — ^that dared leer at her, 
or try to be upon terms with her that wasn't respectful ? — Her 
nature was changed ; and when she repulsed them that made up 
to her, it wasn't with scorn as before, but downright rage : indeed, 
at last, though she was mild with such as behaved themselves, a 
man might as well think of kissing a tigress as Norah. 

Big Jack Dax, — ^he that's my lady's steward at The Beg, — 
had a nephew, one Misther Millet, a small bit of a man, mighty 
puny and spruce, with a white face, and pimples on his chin, 
but no beard ; you'd think a breath would blow him away ; and 
about the time Pm spaking of, he came over from Liverpool, 
— ^where he was something of a clerk, — on a visit here to Yob 
uncle, for a couple of months, — ^to get his health, as you'd thinit 



THE DILLOSK OIRL. • 281 

if you looked at him; — but, as he said, to enjoy "the rude 
Tomantic beauties of the coast :*' — them were his words. He 
wrote verses, and picked up bits of shells and sea-weed, and 
amused himself in ways sensible people wouldn't dream of. Some 
of us thought he was so-so in his senses ; but his uncle said it 
was no such thing, — ^he was only a genius. Above all things in 
this world, what should small Misther Millet do, but attack little 
l^orah, a^r meeting her two or three times, while he was poking 
about with a long stick, for shells, on the beach where she got her 
diUosk ! He had heard of her misfortune, but didn't know of her 
deportment to them that attempted to bill and coo with her : so, 
one day, he struck up to her, quite confident of himself, and 
began to be familiar. But he got such a rebuff from the little 
Dillosk-woman, that he gave up shell-gathering, and took to 
digging for things in the hills, which, he said, was carried away 
there at the time of the great deluge ; and just that day se'nnight 
after his talking to Norah, Misther Millet didn't come home to 
dinner, — no, nor supper ; and all night they saw no sight of him, 
— ^though they sat up in hopes of his coming ; and, at last, big 
Jack Dax gave up his nephew as lost, — no one knew where. It 
happened rather unluckily for Misther Millet to mislay himself 
just then, for there was great goings-on at The Beg : — ^you'll hear, 
by-and-by, what they were about. 

It was Norah herself that poor Tommy Maloe offered to 
marry ; and from that, and his doing her a good turn, and saying 
a kind word for her wjien he could, some of us thought it was he 
seduced her. But though he was a fine fellow, and well to do, 
she wouldn't listen to him. With that, we changed opinions again, 
and couldn't determine among ourselves, or in our own minds 
even, how to settle the question. And what bothered us more 
than all was, that though !N'orah said downright " nay" to his 
offers, it's often she begged him to take Bat Boroo's advice, and 
not go for a souldier : however, he wouldn't heed her. And when 
news came of his being killed abroad, iN'orah wint and wept with 
his poor father, and did all she could to comfort the childless ould 
crature in his sorrow. 

JQ'ow well go on : — ^As I tould you, no one could guess who 
Korah had been ruined by, — and we'd given it up, thinking time 
would tell us. She never missed passing my door at the turn of 
the tide, to go gathering the dillosk ; and was always the last 
home, — ^working, as she did, till the flow again, and going back, 



282 THE DILLOSK OIRt. 

Step by step, before the rising waters, until they drove her dear 
off the shore. If industiys a virtue, Norah had it in perfection : 
and she didn^t want, nor ever took bawbee that wasn't earned, 
from any man,— and that too, honestly. 

Away to the west, about a mile below my cabin, there's a 
ridge of rocks, which runs far out into the sea : that was Norah's 
favourite spot ; for the diUosk was plenty there, and few frequented 
it. At low water, the very end of it stood high and dry ; and I 
may say the same too, when the waters was half up, during the 
neap tides ; for it rose above the rest of the ndge, and when the 
floods came, it was barely covered about two foot, or two foot and 
a half. We call it O'Connor's land-mark : — ^why, I don't know ; 
but so it was called before I was bom, or my father before me, — 
at least, so he said ; and if I, that's his son, wouldn't credit him, 
who would ? 

One morning, — it was the day after big Jack Dax lost his 
small nephew, as I tould you, — Norah ¥rint away to the ridge, as 
usual, and laid down her child on the rock, with its face looking 
up to the heavens, and laughing at the clouds, as they sailed 
along in all sorts of forms. Hiis she did daily while gathering 
the dillosk, for the baby loved to have the clouds for its play- 
things. It wasn't a fine lady's child, you know, or it couldn't 
sleep there upon O'Connor's land-mark, among the sea-weeds 
and so forth, without taking harm ; but the place was natural to 
it: and Norah left Paddy Doolan's daughter to watch it, and 
look to it, and bring it to her if it 'woke and wanted anything ; 
and then she began working. After a time, she had well nigh 
picked up as much as she could carry, — ^though she wasn't lucky 
that day, for the weed lay wide, and she was long gathering it, 
and some sad thoughts she had that morning didn't help to hurry 
her. At last, she turned back to get the baby and go home ; and 
that moment she heard a shriek from Faddy Doolan's daughter, 
who had wandered away from the baby, picking the little fish out 
of the pools in the rock. It didn't seem more than a minute to 
Norah since she looked round, and saw the girl by her child ; and 
she had heard her singing, up to the time when the shriek came ; 
but more than a minute it must have been,*— but it's true, little 
more would be enough ; for between Faddy Doolan's daughter, 
and, of course, between Norah herself, who was more ashore, and 
O'Connor's land-mark, where the baby was sleeping, the sea had 
rose, and flowed over a dent, or steep descent, in the ridge, from 



THE DILLOSK GIRL. 289 

the lowest part of which the rock rose up again quite abruptly^ 
till it ended in the peak at the end. You know how fast the 
tide comes up sometimes just after the ebb, especially when the 
wind*8 with it ; and you'll not be surprised to hear that, though 
poor Norah, distracted as she was, nearly flew over the ridge, 
yet as she was a full stone^s throw off, or more, a couple of big 
waves had got in ; and if it was fordable when Paddy Doolan's 
daughter shrieked, it wasn't so by the time Korah got to the 
water's edge. 

Kow it's fit I should tell you, that the shriek Faddy Doolan's 
daughter gaye, when she saw the water betuxt herself and the 
baby, wasn't a sound, if you heard it, you'd whistle at ; it wasn't 
the scream of a young miss at seeing a cockroach : — ^it gave 
tidings of death, and spread dismay all over the ridge, and even 
beyond it, among the Dillosk-women that was there. Few of 
them but had children playing about, or piddng up little bits of 
burthens of the weed, — them that was big enough, — ^near the 
ridge, and every one ran to the place whence the sound came. 
Three or four was much nearer than Norah, and cutting across 
to the place almost as quickly as herself, — ^none of them knowing 
but harm had happened their own,. — they got to the brink of the 
water before her. When they saw whose baby it was on the ridge, 
they set up a wail, which, if possible, increased poor IQ'orah^s 
speed down the ridge. They felt as mothers, — all of them did, — 
and knowing weU enough, by their own hearts, what the mother of 
the baby would do, they made ready to stop Norah as she came : 
— ^for swim, they knew she couldnt, — ^it was too late for wading, 
and if she bate through the incoming waves, the water was so deep 
in the middle, that drown she must. So they all threw their arms 
about her, and held her for a second ; but the baby 'woke then, 
and its cry came to her ear. That gave her such sudden strength, 
that she brd&e away from them, and burst into the water. Just 
then, as luck would have it, an unbroken wave was rolling in ; 
Korah met it in its full strength, and was dashed to the shore 
again ; but it would have carried her back with it, hadn't ould 
Heen, whoM just got up to the place, rushed in, with Peg Dwyer 
and another woman, knee-deep, and clutched a hould of her, and 
kept her fast, in spite of her struggling, and telling them they 
were murderers, and calling down curses upon them in her agony. 
The child wailed again ; and l^orah, it^is thought, would have 
escaped from, them a second time ; but Been, as soon as she heardl 

T 2 



284 THE DILLOSK GIRI. 

the baby begin, clenched her big fist, and, with one blow on the 
forehead, knocf^ed poor Norah senfleless into the arms of Peg 
Dwyer. 

There was a moment of silence, and every one cast an eye of 
reproach upon Been, but no one durst utter a word. ^ Don*t be 
looking 80 at me,** says she, to them ; ^ wouldn*t you suffer a 
little, any of ye, to save all ? — Many*s the fine feUow lost his 
life for want of less than Norah has got I Better a blow on the 
head, no matter how big the bump that comes after it,^— better 
that, I say, than be drowned. YouVe seen a boy in a fit, and 
six couldn*t hould him ; — and could a fit, think you, give a boy 
more strength, than the cry of a child where that one is, would 
give to a mother that loves it ?" 

All this while, — and it wasn't long, — ^Been was busy tying 
poor Norah hand and foot. 

" Oh ! for young Paudrigg, now, or any one that could 
swim ! " cried one of the women ; " there's not a boy or a man, 
— ^no, nor a bit of a boat even, within sight. What will we do, 
Heen?" 

" All of you join with me in a loud wail, children and all," 
replied Heen ; " may be, Jimmy Fitzgerald's boys, x>t some of 
the neighbours near him, isn't gone out, and may hear us." 

*' Is it a tide any of the fishermen would lose such weather as 
this, think you, Heen?" asked Peg Dwyer. 

" Who knows," says Heen, " what good God may send us ? 
One of them may be kept back to save that poor baby." 

So then they set up such a wail, all of them, that it came to 
me here, where I was dozing ; and if anything could have given 
me the use of my limbs, it would have been that. I tried to stir, 
but it was of no use : — so, without losing time, in making more 
efforts, I pulled open the door with my crutch, and hallooed, and 
cried " Murder ! " five or six times, at the top of my voice. Heen 
reckoned upon my doing that ; for, as soon as the wail was over, 
says she, " If that does no good,^ nothing wiU ; — ^if one of us ran 
off for help, before she got near any men and they got back 
again, the sea would be over the child ; and the only chance we'd 
then have, would be in the wave that floated it bringing it ashore : 
but that's a poor hope ; for every moment the tide drives us back, 
and leaves it farther away from us. But a scream travels faster 
than a bird. If no one else heard us, Jimmy Fitzgerald must ; for 
he's always at home : — ^he's an ould sailor, and won't fail to repeat 



TBB DILLOSK GIRL« 285 

the fflgnal of distress ; it^s sure to bring somebody to him, and he'll 
send every one that comes, away here to us : — so that we save the 
time of running as far as his cabin, by the wail ; and there's hope 
yet the child won't be lost." 

Within a minute or two after Pd done calling out, as I said, 
there came running in Mick Maguire, and Bat Boroo, and all 
the lazy-bones of the place : and after them followed Paddy 
Doolan, ould Malachi Roe, and a power more of landsmen, with 
women and children at their heels ; but not a fisherman, good or 
bad, ould or young, was ashore. I tould them of the wail I'd 
heard from the Dillosk-women, and the point it bore from ; and 
off they wint, one following another, as fast as they came in ; and 
it wasn't long before all the place was in arms, and not a soul but 
me left in it, far or near. 

All this didn't take more than the time Fm telling it. Mean- 
while Norah recovered : she was now so weak, that Ueen unbound 
her, but the women still kept a hould of her ; and there they were 
— ^wailing about her, and she sitting on a stone, with her hands 
clasped, ga2dng at the waters, that were just rising towards the 
top of the land-mark, where the child, that had now cried itself 
asleep again, lay without knowing its danger. Now and then she 
turned her eyes along the shore to the men that were running 
down to the ridge as fast as they well could : though they were 
landsmen, there was more than one among them that could swim ; 
and Norah, as well as the women about her, had rason to hope 
bad wouldn't be the end of it. 

A man tires, but the rising tide don't, and the waters still kept 
their pace ; but the men slackened, and just as the foremost of 
them got up, — and that was Mick Maguire, out of breath, and 
who'd no heart, though his legs was the best, — just as he got up 
to the women, a great wave came in, and they all saw it a way 
off, for it was taller, and might be seen above those before it : — ^it 
came on slowly, but strongly ; and instead of breaking and being 
divided in two by the land-mark, it swept in a full body above it, 
and Norah's baby was afloat ! 

Just then, all set up a shriek ; and it was answered by one 
they little expected : what was it but the scream of the great 
eagle himself, that came down from the clouds a'most, and gripped 
up the baby in his mighty claws ! — so saving it from one death, for 
another that was more frightful, and that too, a thousand-fold I 
He didn't rise at once, but skinmied along the face of the sea for 



286 THB DILL08K GiRL. 

some time, m that the baby dipped in the tops of the waves, and 
scattered a foam round itself and the bird now and then ; and 
it was thought he'd drop it more than once : but no, — ^he soon 
began to get higher and higher, and rose, at List, on his strong 
wings, above the cliffs themselves ; and then, making a half 
circle, wheeled round, and ¥rint over the heads of the women, 
right away to his nest in the mountain. And all that while, the 
women looked up silently, and them that was running along the 
beach stood still, and nobody, breathed ; so that the flap of the 
eagle's wing was heard plainly, far as he was above them. 

It would have been well for poor Norah had she swooned off 
again ; but she didn't. When the eagle was gone out of sight, 
the people turned to look at her ; and there she was, standing on 
tip-toe, with arms stretched out, and her eyes fixed in the air, as 
though she still saw the bird and her baby, long after they had 
disappeared to every one else. No one spoke to her, — ^for what 
could they say in the way of comfort ? — ^but as soon as they got 
over the shock of the sight a little, — and it was just as though they 
had all been stxmned, — ^they began to ask one another if anything 
could be done. 

** There's but one hope in the world," says Heen, .'^ and that's 
to scale the crag." 

** And who'll do it?" asked many, but nobody answered. Every 
one, who'd the heart, had tried before he was twenty, or betuxt 
that and twenty-five; but no one had ever succeeded. Many 
of them that was on the beach, had got terrible falls, and two of 
them broken limbs, in the attempt, and given it up as fruitless. 
Luke Fogarty was too ould, and Rory too young ; Paddy Doo- 
lan hadn't the courage to try at twenty ; and how could it be 
asked of him then that he was forty ? — Mick Maguire wouldn't 
venture himself; but he'd go get his gun, and lend it to any one 
freely that would. One man pointed to his grey locks ; another 
to his lame leg ; and a third to his brats of little ones, and seemed 
to think, that it wouldn't be well of him to risk his life for an- 
other man's child, when he'd six or eight of his own dependent 
upon him. Bat Boroo flourished about his big stick, uid said 
he'd scale the rock with all the pleasure in life, if it would do any 
good : " But where would be the use ? " says he ; " for by this 
time the poor child is torn to pieces ; and if I reached the nest and 
conquered the eagles that's in it, I'd have nothing but the child's 
torn limbs to bring back.** 



THE DILLOSK GIRL« 287 

"I think," says Malachi Roe,— the ould one, I mane; he 
didn't spake before, and hadn't been known for a long time to 
open his lips until a question was asked him ;; — " I think," says 
he, ^Uhere's no fear of that. Daddy Gahagan, the shepherd, 
has been telling me, that one of his grandsons came to him 
'while ago, with news of the eagle's mate having just carried 
off a Iamb from the flock he tended. She'll get to the nest first 
with her prey ; and there's a chance — ^what do I say P — ^it wouldn't 
be foolish to lay odds, — no harm comes to the child these two 
hours." 

Every one stared, and wondered if it was indeed Malachi him- 
self that spoke such a speech ; they took it, however, for Gospel, 
and set up a shout : but Bat had turned on his heel, and didn't 
listen to it. Then all of them began to move off to the foot of 
the crag, but still nobody offered to venture. 

While they wint sorrowfully, but speedily, along, — as though 
getting near the place would do any good, — ^they met Misther 
James Dingle trotting towards them. Two or three — and Mick 
Maguire was among 'em — ^had got a-head of the rest ; and before 
they could speak, James Dingle pulled up his horse, and said to 
them, — ^" God save ye, boys ! Pve just seen the big eagle carrying 
off that in his claw, which Pm sure is a child, by the clothes. 
Whose it is, I haven't heard ; he may have brought it miles ; but 
111 give any of you two sparkling yellow boys, that will climb the 
crag and get it down from him, dead or alive." 

Upon this, Mick Maguire tould him the whole story, whose 
child it was, and how the eagle got it ; and before he'd done, the 
whole cavalcade of them were round him, crying, ^^ Oh ! Misther 
James I what'll we do ? " For, next to the Priest, and the lady at 
The Beg, every one looked up to young Dingle for advice in 
the day of distress. And such wailhig and bothering there was 
about him, that he couldn't be heard for a minute and more : at 
last. Father Eillala, who had joined the people, got silence for 
him. The colour had left his cheek, and his lips looked hard and 
dry ; but he spoke out ooolly and distinctly, and said, " Though 
w^re tould that the crag has been climbed, and the eagle's nest 
reached, yet no one was ever known, or reported in tradition, to 
have got down frmn it again. Now, Malachi Boe, do you take 
my horse and ride off to the beach with the best speed you can, 
and bring a roll of cord back with you, and ropes, if you can get 
them : but bring the cord away at once, if there's any delay with 



288 THE DILLOSK GIRL. 

the ropes ; for they may be got after. I'd go for it, but I wouldn't 
make myself a bit more fatigued than I now am, for that's need- 
less; and while you're gone. Til be getting ready. Should I 
reach the nest, I can lower the child to you, if I never come back 
myself." 

" And is it you that's going, sir?" says Mck Maguire. 

**It is, Mick," he answered; ^^no one else will, and so I sup- 
pose I must." 

And then all of them, that a minute before was dying to meet 
with any one that would go, b^an moaning in an under tone, 
and seemed sorry, and hidf inclined to persuade James Dingle 
not to make the attempt. One fellow muttered — and it wasn't 
well of him — ^*' A man's life is worth more than a child's." 

^^ I don't know that," saM James Dingle ; ^ and what if it was ? 
— ^We were all children once, and not able to help ourselves ; 
but there was then men about, who had strength given them to 
protect us. Now we're men, we ought to do by the children, the 
same that others, whose heads lie low, did for us, — or would have 
done for us, if need was, — ^when we were babies." 

" Mr. Dingle," said Father Eillala, coming up to him, '^ we can 
but ill afford to lose you : — Pd rather another wint who had a 
heart and body equal to your own ; but as no one else offers, go, 
and God bless you ! " 

Dingle shook the ould man's hand, and wint on towards the 
mountain, with all the people following him, and praying bless- 
ings on his head. 

Malachi Roe this while was far on his way to the fishermen's 
cabins : he wasn't a man to lose time, or spare horse-flesh when 
need was ; so he came galloping down like a racer, and got back 
again, with all that was wanted with him, long before he was ex- 
pected by any but James Dingle, who knew what Malachi was, 
and what his oavu horse could do ; and, besides that, was impatient 
to begin. While he was gone, Luke Fogarty, and two or three 
more that had tried to get at the nest, gave Dingle what advice 
they could, how to avoid the mishaps they'd met with. Bat Boroo 
lent him his stick, and offered him a few short instructions in the 
way of attack and defence with it. But James Dingle silenced 
him, by saying, — ^^ Bat Boroo, I thank you, but a shillala isn't a 
broad sword. Fve been fool enough to carry a twig to a fair with 
me, when I was younger and wilder than Fve been these seven 
years past : it was said I knew how to use it then ; and though 



THE DILL08K 01 RL. 289 

Fye had no practice since, I don*t think Pve forgot which way to 
flourish it best.** 

And sure enough there was few that ever could stand up long 
to James Dingle before he got steady, even while only a stripling. 
In this place, if Fd a mind to do it, I might keep playing with 
your feelings,, and tell you how young Dingle parted from the 
people, and what they thought and said, while he was climbing ; 
and how one minute they had rason to hope, and the next to fear 
for him : — ^but I won*t do this, for you may imagine it all withottt 
any word of mine. Til come to Ihe point at on(ie : — ^it was long 
before James made much way ; for the lowest part of the peak 
was the worst ; and when he got higher, he had often to crawl idong 
the ledges a great way to find resting-places above for his feet : 
but he got on better than he did at the#eginning ; and after being 
often lost sight of, behind the pieces of rock that shot up like 
towers, he appeared again in places where he wasn^t expected ; and 
in less than an hour, the people below saw him in the branches 
of the tree, behind which it was known the eaglets aerie was built. 
Eyen then he hadn*t done his work : — ^but you*ll hear how he 
got on. 

The eagle's nest rested partly on the tree I spoke of, which 
grew out of a crevice of the rock, and partly on the floor of a 
natural cave : it was made of big sticks, and among them was 
many a white bone of bird and beast, that had served the eagles 
for prey, years and years before. James Dingle put aside the 
branches, quietly as he could, and in no small trepidation, to see 
what was doing, before he got in : — and he did right, I think ; for 
look before you leap, is a saying that has' sense in it, especially 
when you're going to get into an eagle's nest. So far, all went 
well ; but no sooner had he put his head through the leaves, than 
he saw a sight that struck him motionless ! — Most men have been 
amazed some time or other ; but there never was a man so amazed 
as James Dingle was. At one comer of the little hollow in the 
rock, — ^making himself look less than he was, — ^who do you think 
sat then but small Misther Millet? — Misther Millet himself, 
whiter than the wall, — ^who had been lost since the day before, as 
I tould you, — shivering like a mouse within reach of the claws of 
a cat, with both the eagles opposite, on the brink of the nest, 
staring at the crature, and seeming to wonder what he was at, 
and how he got there ! — There was two young eagles in the nest 
full-fledged, and looking mighty frightened at their new friend, 



290 THE DILLOSK GIRL. 

Misther ^fillet The lamb wasn't touched, though killed ; and 
by its side lay the child, with one of the young eagles' wings oyer 
the little darling's face. It seemed as though the birds had all 
been afraid to begin their meal, with Millet where he was, and 
hadn't yet made up theii* minds how to get rid of him. I may as 
well tell you now, as by-and-by, how he came there, for I dare 
say you'd like to know. — 

Well, then, the little man, by his own story, had wandered away 
the day before, an hour after breakfast, to fetch a romantic walk 
among the hills, and gather pebbles, and catch butterflies, and 
draw trees, and make poetry, and do them things he was fond of: 
but by the time his stomach tould him it was getting on fast for 
dinner-time, he made a discovery that wasn't singular, considering 
what he'd been at, and wAch way he wint. You'll guess he lost 
his way, — ^and so he did ; and every step he took made matters 
worse. Night came upon him, in a place where he could see 
nothing but a few rocks and wild shrubs about, and the sky 
speckled with stars above him. He chose out the danest and soft- 
est bed he could, took off his coat and turned it inside out ; then 
putting it on again, he lay down, and to his own great surprise 
soon found himself falling asleep. He had no bad dreams from 
indigestion that night, you may be sure ; but he didn't wake very 
well in the morning, for all that. At day-break, he began walk- 
ing again ; and, in about an hour's time, upon looking through a 
few bushes, he got sight of a hole in the rock, which had light at 
the other end of it. He crawled in upon all-fours, and soon found 
himself cheek-by-jowl with a pair of young eagles ! 

Now we knew, from tradition, that there certainly was a long, 
but not a difficult way to the eagle's nest, through llie hills ; but 
though many had tried that was bom and bred near them, none 
could ever find it out ; and then comes Misther Millet, piping hot 
from a Liverpool 'counting-house, and discovers it without trying, 
and much against his own will, to boot ! — His wonder wasn't well 
over, before home came the great hen-eagle, with a lamb ; and 
from that time, he didn't dare stir ; for she never ceased eyeing 
him, as though she was only waiting until he made a move, to 
dart at his face. By-and-by, home came her mate too ; and the 
sight of him didn't make Misther Millet feel a morsel more aisy, I 
take lave to suppose ; especially when he saw that the bird had 
a child in its clutch : — and there sat the little man, half dead with 
hunger, and cold, and fear, when James Dingle looked in upon him. 



THE DILLOSK GIRL. 291 

It wu then only, that the birds appeared to know of the 
approach of another intruder : they stretched forth their wide 
wings, and each of them, at the same moment, seized the lamb 
with one foot, and stood fluttering on the other, at the edge of the 
nest. Dingle reached out his left hand and dragged the child to 
him ; and with his right, before you*d breathe, struck the bird that 
was nearest him — ^it was the cock — a blow on the head, with Bat 
Boroo*s oaken cudgel, that knocked him oyer the edge of the 
nest ; and down he fell, in a way that made those below think he 
was killed ; but after falling many yards, he fluttered his wings, 
and soon recovered enough to fly to a resting-place. The hen, at 
the moment her mate got the blow, screamed so that the rocks 
rung with it, and got upon the wing. She wheeled round in the 
air, and rose, to all appearance, for the purpose of making a 
terrible stoop upon her enemy. There wasn't any time to be 
lost : — James Dingle pushed both the young eagles out of the 
nest ; they were able to keep themselves up ; and the ould hen, 
instead of making a descent upon James, altered her course, 
flew towards her young, and kept close to them, until they had 
readied, and were safe perched upon, the point of one of the 
peaks, that grew up by the side of the crag. 

While this was doing. Dingle got into the nest, bid Millet 
crawl back through the hole with the child, and in a short time fol- 
lowed. He had made up his mind to explore his way through the 
hills ; for, thinks he, Misther Millet never could have got here, if 
the road*s difficult ; unless, indeed, the eagles carried him up ; but 
that's not likely : — so Til try ; and it's odd, from this height, if 
I can't discover the way down, whatever may be said of its being 
impossible. The hen-eagle, too, kept hovering about, and would, 
no doubt, soon be joined by her mate ; and— do you mark ? — if he 
pulled up the rope by the cord he had, and let down the baby, the 
great chance was, whether one of the ould birds — ^to say nothing 
of the fear he had of its getting hurt against the rocks,— -wouldn't 
pounce upon and destroy it, as it swung mid-way in the air. So 
he deiermined to try his luck, and began descending. Misther 
"MSlet amused him by his story as they wint : but the gentleman 
conldnH remembe' one inch of the way he came ; and if Norah 
Cavanagh's child hadn't been carried off the way I tould you. Jack 
Dax would have lost a nephew, and the world Misther Millet : for 
I can't but think he'd have died somewhere about the hills, or been 
killed by the eagles ; and so, one way or other, met with the same 



292 THE DILLOSK GIRL. 

fate 88 the boy did that was seen in the nest long ago, and 
never got back. 

When the people below saw that James Dingle waved his 
stick triumphantly, — as he did before he left the nest, — and had 
disappeared for some time, though the eagles hadn't harmed him, 
they reminded one another of the way to the crag over the hills, 
and thought he was trying to find it. And when they asked 
Malachi Eoe, he made a speech again, — ^that is, a speech for the 
likes of such a one as him : — says he, '' T ve no doubt but he is ; 
he'd be a fool if he didn't ; for look at the eagles above, between 
this and the nest.'* 

" True," says Mick Maguire ; " that didn't occur to us, whin 
he wint up. Any how, he might have killed them both, — and 
then there'd be no danger in letting down the baby, — ^he might 
have done that, if he'd taken my gun. And Pm thinking that 
Bat Boroo's stick — " 

"What's your opinion, Malachi?'* said Father Eollala, inter- 
rupting Mick ; — and it's the only fault he has : for he'd never hear 
one of my stories half through, without asking two or three 
hundred questions ; and then, may be, he'd go off in the middle of 
it. But he's a fine man, and that's his only fault, or, I'd rather 
say, it's a way he has that's not pleasant to some people, though 
Mick didn't mind it. "What's your opinion, Malachi?" says 
Father Killala ; " do you think James Dingle will find his way 
back?" 

" With the blessing of Providence, I've no doubt of it," re- 
plied Malachi ; — " no one ever came back from it yet, it's true ; 
but there never was such a man as James Dingle got into the nest 
before." 

" He knows the country as well as any one here, I suppose," 
observed the Priest. 

"Better, Father Killala," said Malachi. 

With this, most of the people came back, bringing poor 
Norah with them ; and she was comforted in a great degree. Still 
she'd terrible fears, and a multitude of bad fancies ; but every 
one strove to console her : those who wouldn't spake to her before, 
wept for her now ; and Korah Cavanagh was grateful to them 
for it. A few watched the crag ; but most of the people, as I 
said, came away : and they might be seen hanging together in 
knots about the place, doing nothing the rest of the morning 
but watch in hopes of seeing James Dingle appear. Some wint 



THE DILLOSK OIRL. 293 

up among the hills to scout for him ; though that wasn't much 
use, for nobody knew which way he'd come back. 

Hours and hours passed on, but still no news of James Dingle ! 
And his aunt, who heard of what had been done, was almost 
frantic at the foot of the hill, beyond The Beg. It was long she 
waited, and often she looked up the crags, but still there was no 
sign of her nephew : — ^it was past mid-day, and all the people got 
round her, and every body began to despair but MalachL 

At last two men was seen coming down from above; and 
who should they be, as youH guess, but James Dingle and small 
Misther Millet I Young Dingle had Norah Cavanagh's child in 
his arms, and Millet was helping himself on as well as he could 
by Bat Boroo's big stick. 

I won't describe what big Jack Dax, — ^who was there, — said on 
seeing his nephew again ; I'll rather take up your time by telling 
you what a better man, and that's Father Eillala, did : — ^though 
Misther Dax is a good soul, and much liked ; but, of course, not 
to be mentioned with the Priest. And the truth is, big Jack Dax 
didn't waste much time in words .; but, with little or no ceremony, 
hoisted his poor worn-out little nephew on his own broad shoulders, 
and so hoiked him off home to The Beg. It was himself— I mane 
the Priest, — that took the child out of James Dingle's arms, and 
when he'd seen it was alive and well, he motioned all the people 
about him to be silent : then, turning to young Dingle, he said, 
in a tone that those who heard it won't soon forget, " James 
Dingle, you're the father of this child I" 

Every soul stood amazed, and nobody spoke but Dingle him- 
self. " What makes you say so, sir ?" said he. 

"What?" exclaimed Father Killala : "what but that we've 
all witnessed to-day ? — ^Your humanity made you offer money to 
any one that would scale the crag, when you merely knew that a 
child had been carried off by the eagle ; but as soon as you heard 
the child was Norah Cavanagh's, you prepared to go yourself. 
None but the father of this babe would have ventured as much 
for it as you have to-day ; — ^you are that father, James Dingle. 
In the face of Heaven above us, — ^before your countrymen, — ^in 
the sight of that lost young woman, — and with this unhappy 
being on your bosom," — ^and he placed the child in young Dingle's 
arms as he spoke, — " with this in your bosom, you cannot— dare 
not deny it!" 

" I don't deny it. Father Killala," replied James Dingle. 



294 THE DILLOSK GIRL. 

It*8 said the Priest himself looked a little surprised at this ; 
but he wint on : — " Then, Mr. Dingle, as you're a man, I trust 
it*s your intention to follow up this great day's work, by doing 
right to her that you've wronged." 

** He never wronged me, Father Killala, — blessings on him ! ** 
said Norah Cavanagh. 

Well ! how all this would end, no soul could guess. The good 
Priest looked more astonished than before, and not a little angry 
at Norah. " And are you so lost to shame," said he to her — 
" has vice made you so abandoned — " 

" She never was lost to shame, and don't know vice ;" inter- 
rupted James Dingle, rather warmly : ** Pll uphould her to be as 
pure and virtuous as any here." 

James Dingle's aunt, who had stood mute with amazement all 
this time, now broke silence. " What's all this I hear ? " exclaimed 
she: — "Why, he'll say next she's an honest man's wife, and 
himself her husband." 

" That's just how it is, aunt," replied James. 

Without repeating more of that part of their discourse, word 
for word, I may as well tell you, that Dingle owned to his enraged 
aunt, he'd married Norah secretly, under a promise of getting 
the aunt's forgiveness within a month or so; but as Norah was a 
Catholic, and the Dingles were Protestants, and the ould woman 
herself was as proud as them that was her betters, and so adverse 
to a Catholic for her nephew^s wife, that she'd as soon have done 
any thing as agree to such a thing ; — as, I say, all this was the case, 
— and James should have thought of it before, shouldn't he ? — 
though his heart was a stout one, he hadn't the courage to mention 
his marriage to her. When his wife — ^for so Til call her now — ^found 
he broke his pr(»nise, and wouldn't save her from the shame that 
was fast coming upon her, she resolutely refused to have any — 
even the slightest^-<;omnmnication with him, and scorned to ac- 
cept the smallest mite of assistance from his hand : but worked 
hard and suj^rted herself, and by-and-by her baby too; — ^bowing 
down before her bad luck, and taking it as a penance for doing 
wrong, as she had, by such a marriage ; but under all, trusting 
to Providence fbr better days. 

James Dingle freely confessed how bad he'd acted ; and Norah 
repeated over and over, it wasn*t his wish she should work 
as she had ; — ^but she would. The only excuse he could make 
was, the situation of his sisters ; who, as every one knew, like 



TBS DILL08K OIBL. 295 

himself, were quite dependent on his aunt for support. " And 
though," says he, ^^Tm strong and able, and could well keep 
them by the sweat of my brow, they^d break their hearts in a 
month, after being brought up the way they have ; and I was sure 
my aunt would turn them out, the day I owned to marrying Norah. 
But that*8 but a poor plea for me : — I should have looked to my wife 
first ; — ^I feel it here I " says he, striking his breast, *^ I*m a good-for- 
nothing scoundrel, and them that doesnH despise me is almost as 
bad as myself. I made up my mind how Td act, coming down the 
crags, with the child smiling up like an angel of goodness in my 
£ioe, and so telling me, in that mute way, to repent and do right, 
without more delay. I determined on this, before Father Killala 
spoke to me ; — believe it or no, which way you please. — ^Norah, 
m go home with you, and in your own little cabin ask your 
forgiyeness ; next. Til beg that of my sisters, who, I suppose, will 
be sent to me at once ; — ^I begged it from above long ago. Aunt, 
after the poor return Tve made to you for all you did for me 
and mine before now, it's useless to ask grace of you for myself, 
I suppose ; but my knees wouldn't be stiff, if I thought I could, 
by entreating, obtain a continuance of your bounty to them who 
havVt offended you ; — of course, I mane my sisters. Whether 
or no, aunt. Til always be grateful ; and do as you will, FU not 
repine.** 

But James Dingle's aunt didn't mind what her nephew said, 
and wouldn't even listen to Father Eillala, but raved and stormed 
with such violence, that every one thought her passion must soon 
blow over ; but the more she blustered, the better she seemed to 
be for it. Bat Boroo got his big stick and retired to the rear, 
seemingly a little frightened or so ; Duck Davie rubbed the palms 
of his hands together, and felt delighted to see the ould lady in 
such a pucker, — ^no doubt he did ; Mick Maguire stood leaning 
upon the muzzle of his gun, staring with wonder at her chin going 
up and down at such a rate ; and Luke Fogarty poked his bull's 
horn as near as he well could to her mouth, to pick up as much 
of her discourse as his deafness would let him. 

At last, as all things must have an end, young Dingle's aunt 
stopped talking ; but without being a bit more contented than when 
she began. Just then, little Korah knelt down before her, and 
with tears in her eyes asked, would she forgive her nephew, if she 
(^Norah) left the place forever with her baby, andwint away to such 
parts, that none who knew her should ever see sight of her more. 



296 THE DILLOSK GIRt. 

But James Dingle and Ileen stepped up to the little Dillosk- 
woman as soon as the words were out of her mouth ; and one at 
one side, and one at the other, they raised her up. 

" I can't agree to that,'* says James Dingle. 

"No ; nor I, — nor any woman here," says Ileen. 

'* I don't reproach you, Norah," continued James, " for offer- 
ing to leave me ; — ^but I won't allow it. It's now, perhaps for the 
first time, I feel how very dear you are to me. FU give up all 
for you,--all, Norah; and it's much I shall be in your debt 
even then." 

" The whole that Tve to say about the matter, Mrs. Dingle, 
is this," quoth Been ; " you've no right to look down upon Norah 
though she's poor and a Catholic, bekase you're rich and a Protes- 
tant : for you were poor yourself, before your husband, that's dead, 
turned tithe-proctor ; and your own uncle is now Coadjutor to 
the Parish-Priest of Ballydalough. There's not one belonging to 
you can say his grandfather ever had two chimneys to his house, 
or more than would buy a day's dinner in his pocket: — ^that 
I needn't tell you though, for you know it well enough, Mrs. 
Dingle. The buttermilk blood will shew itself; but you sha'n't 
trample upon Korah Cavanagh, while I, that's hg: own mother's 
second cousin, can get within a mile of her. She comes of a 
good family, Mrs. Dingle, and if you won't be a mother to her, I 
will ! — ^I couldn't look upon her while every one had a right to 
think she'd disgraced herself; but now she's proved to be what 
she ought, I restore her to my heart." 

" Ah I why not be good humoured thin at once ? " says Mick 
Maguire to the aunt ; " make no more wry faces at the pill ; but, 
though it's bitter, swallow it at once : why not thin, eh ? — and 
don't be a fool I — If you make any more noise about it, Pll fire 
away all the powder I have to drown your voice." 

" Pll not have my aunt insulted, Mick," says James Dingle : 
" neither by you, nor any one : — and Pd be better pleased with 
Ileen had she said less." 

" I'm not one for asking lave what I shall say, before I spake, 
or begging pardon for what Pve spoke, James Dingle ;" replied 
Heen. 

" That's true," observed her husband, ould Malachi Hoe, in a 
remarkably positive tone. 

Mrs. Dingle seemed to have a mind to begin again, when who 
should walk up to the place where the people were standing. 



THE DILLOSK OIRL. 297 

but my lady from The Beg, leaning upon the arm of Fierce 
Yeogh ! — Mick Maguire let off his gun for joy at the sight ; the 
piper played a merry jig ; Father Eillala and James Dingle 
shook hands with Fierce, and welcomed him heartily ; and 
ahnost every body felt delighted : for Fierce, with all his faults, 
was much loved for many things ;— ^shiefly, though, because he 
was bom among us, and had been unfortunate. 

*^ Thank God I *^ says he, as soon as he was let speak ; ** Thank 
God ! Fm here among my people once more ; and able to stand 
a firee man on my own ground again. For clearing me of all my 
miseries,— for recalling me to the right path,— for restoring me 
to the house of my forefathers, — I am indebted to my wife." 
The beautiful lady who still kept her arm in his, blushed, and 
held down her head, as he spoke these words. '' My last creditor," 
continued Fierce, '* that rascally mushroom, Mick Furcell, was 
forced to give me a full acquittance this morning ; an hour after 
that we were married : but it*s only since Mr. Dax returned to 
The Beg with his nephew, that I heard what had happened ; and 
it grieves me to find any one about me wretched at such a time 
as this. Mrs. Dingle, I don*t like to boast of my few good deeds ; 
but, I believe, on one occasion, I had it in my power to grant 
you an important favour ; — did I refuse ? " 

Mrs. Dingle burst into tears, but made no reply. 

" I understand you object to your nephew's choice, little Norah 
here, because she's a Catholic. My wife," continued Pierce, " was 
a Frotestant ; I, as you know, am not : but, with her, the differ- 
ence of our creeds was no bar to our union." 

Well — as I often say — ^to make a long story short, at last and 
in the long run, what with Father Eillala's preaching, and Fierce 
Veogh's entreating, and his beautiiul lady's winning smiles, and 
the tears of proud little Norah, James Dingle's aunt agreed to 
make it up with her nephew. Instead of going home with Korah 
that night to her own little mud cabin, he took her away to his 
aunt's house ; and she has ever since lived upon good terms with 
the ould woman, and her nieces to boot. 

Pierce Yeogh had intended to have made no noise about his 
wedding that day ; but to have kept open house at The Beg, from 
the next morning, for a whole week. However, as he'd shewn 
himself to the people, and reconciled his richest tenant to the 
marriage of her nephew with one of the poorest on the whole 
domain, — ^though there never was a better, except my lady, and 

V 



few to good, upoa it m little Noreh, — he couldn't but aak every 
body to come home with him and make meny a little. 

And it's merry enough the;f made themaelres, as I can beai 
witness, for I waa among them. They couldn't well get cm with- 
out me ; ao Idick Magoire, and Bat Boroo, with Comey Camlao, 
and a whole fratamity of them, came down to ietch me np to The 
Beg in pomp. But, bad luck to them 1 — they would have broke 
my neck if I hadn't a little thought for myself; for they'd a cnp 
of the cratnre innde them before they started, and what should 
they propose bnt to knock out the bead of a lai^ empty cask 
that had been washed ashore cloee to my cabin that day week, 
and, as I couldn't walk, to roll me in it, over and over, right up 
to The Beg 1 This, of course, I couldn't allow ; but, as there was 
no other vahicle to be had, I consented, — if they'd boru square 
holea through the two ends of the cask, and get a pole to tit 
them, — to beatiide it. So they did as I hinted, and away I wint, 
with the piper playing before me, and two or three o' them, under 
Bat Boroo's command, carrying me, straight off to The Beg ; where 
I emptied bo many piggins o' pothien to the health of my neigh- 
bours, that I know no more how or when I got home, than the 
man in the moon. 



.THIRD COURSE: 



MY COUSIN'S CLIENTS. 



MY COUSIN'S CLIENTS. 



INTEODUCTION. 

Am executor to lay convn, va attatney *rbo had resided for 
npwsrds of thirty jears in old FunuTd'a Inn, it hecame my dnty 
lo look over a quantity of his papers, in older to elucidate some 
important tranaactions, to ^ieh he had alluded m his irill- 
The mas of documentB was too weighty to admit of a removal ; 
and, for some time after hia decease, a variety of (urcunutancea 
prevented me from devoting a morning to their examination at 
bis chamhers. At length, the feast of St. Swithin arrived : — the 
morning was nahered in, aa ia usnally the case, with low and 
gloomy clouds; and at noon, a heary shower, of several hours' 
duration, began to falL The rain compelled me to abandon the 
bnane» which I had intended to have done that day, and nothing 
of interest pressed for my attention at home. I hwt an hour in 
going, alternately, to every window of the bouse ; and, at the ei- 
jnration of that time, as no symptoms of a change were perceptible, 
— ^Fumival's Inn being not far distant, — I resolved on passing the 
remainder of the morning at my late lamented coann's chambers. 
So little inclination, however, bad I for my task, that I should 
scarcely have had courage enough to sally forth in the cain, had 
I not felt a strong presentiment of an approaching visit fVom two 



302 INTKODCCTION. 

reepeetable, but very proaiiig old Iftdies, — the poppkfl of every pwtf 
in which they appeared, — who inTariably took advantage otjaj 
wet dayi, to visit saeii of their Bcquaintance as were treqndill} 
from boine ; because, as they said, with some truth, Kuctl; 
any one waa then out but thenuelves. Under a laudable fear 
of the heavy influence which these respectable old gentlenamen 
would have on my spirits, during such a pemarkably dull dafi 
and knowing, from past experience, that when they came, tlie; 
usually stayed to dine, I glode forth, " like sparkle out of brode," 
without saying a word to any body ; took a hearty lunch at t 
cofifae-honse ; hurried towards Fumival's Lm ; and, at five o'di)d» 
waa jocoiely rqwrted, to the two old ladies whose visit I M 
antidpated, as being, uotwithataadiiig the wetnew of the dt^, 
" absent without leaver" 



ADAM BURDOCK. 

AiiTHOUGR a Tery plodding man of business, during the 
mmimer and autumn of his life, my cousin Adam bad been rather 
wayward in his youth. After the completion of his articles of 
clerksbip, in the office of an eminent firm in the Temple, he 
oscillated, for several months, between Mount Parnassus imd the 
Temple of Justice. During that period, he made out a catalogue 
raisonni of above three hundred authors, — ^most of them men 
of considerable eminence, — ^who had deserted law for literature ; 
and my cousin Adam would, perhaps, have followed their ex- 
ample, had not a young lady whom he loved, — and of whose 
taste and judgment he entertained a very high opinion, — ^treated 
a copy of verses, composed by him in her praise, and which 
he considered his poetical che/'cPosuvre, not merely with coolness, 
but positive contempt. Her sneers at his rhapsody were so galling, 
that he set his face for ever against love and literature, — ^lived an 
attorney, and died a bachelor. 

A good hand at making out bills of costs is an invaluable ac- 
quisition to a legal practitioner ; a superior statement of charges 
being, in fact, a concise but clear history, subdivided into items, 
of the suit to which it refers. Adam Burdock's attendance books 
were masterly performances in this respect : almost every action, 
or legal affair, was, as I discovered during my examination of his 
papers, an interesting little romance ; and there appeared to be 
much of that quality which is, by many modern writers, termed 
poetry, in the law. My cousin's bills frequently contained moral, 
as well as pecuniary charges against his clients : for the sake of 
being explicit, he was evidently compelled, on many occasions, 
to envelop an accusation in a formal debit. All attomies, as I 
have since been told, labour, more or less, imder this disadvantage : 
a man acts wisely, therefore, in keeping his legal adviser's bill 
*' aloof firom public eye ;'* it is often a record of follies and offences, 
for which, perhaps, after they are passed, he blushes and repents. 
A precise, old-fashioned solicitor's ledger would form a capital 
volume for the study of human nature : the characters of his 
clients, their whims, their frailties and their sins, are accurately 



3M ADAM BUBDOCK. 

nniblded in its pages ; the eonrce* and conseqaencea of eventi 
maj tlierein, without difficulty, be traced ; the gradationa of » 
spradthiifl, from opolence to pennij, are findy marked by ibe 
progrcMve venueg from Bond Street to the Bench, in which the 
attendancea against him are laid ; and a wholesome moral nay, 
very often, be foond in the concluding items of a lawyer's bill 

My cousin Adam's draft sketches of costs, the elabon^ m.rgJMl 
memoranda which he had made on them, appaiently, for his own 
amusement,^ — being, perhaps, under the inflnence of the eaeeeOm 
which, in his younger days, be had " seotdt'd, not kill'd," — and 
the documents to which such fetches and monoranda refbned, 
afforded data for the following tales. Should they prove deficioit 
in interest to the reader, I must dther have erred in selecting, or 
failed in narrating them ; for many of my counn's papers, sad 
especially his brie&, were to me such amudng det^ls of matlai 
of fact, that, for the first time in my life, I heartily enjoyed a wet 
Saint Swithin's day. 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

**A QU>aiov9 mofning, Hassell,*' said a ipruoe middle-aged 
mail, as he walked up one ride of the old aquare of Fumival's 
Iim, with a small valise under his arm, to a short, pale, elderlj 
gentleman, who was listlessly strolling, in a morning gown, slip- 
pas, and velvet cap, on the opposite pathway, and in a contrary 
direction ; — ^^ a glorious .morning as ever was seen, — ^hright — clear 
— ^bnt by no means sultry : — an excellent morning, I protest, and 
jnst to my taste.'* 

"• Why, sir," replied the pale old gentlenum, *' I must say it*s 
fine country weather ; and, I dare swear, delightful to you, who 
are just on the hrink of quitting the miserahle metropolis until 
the morrow of All Souls." 

^ No, no," interrupted the first speaker, in a brisk tone ; ^* I 
shall only be away a month ; Trout and Thomas is appointed at 
bar early in the term, and I must be home after the first three 
days of pheasant shooting to marshal my evidence. Pve a 
siApcena duces tecum to produce the papers in WagstafTs com- 
mission at the Cornwall assizes ; — that carries me clear to Bodmin : 
and Fm going on a visit to an old client, who lives but eleven 
miles farther ; so that the costs out of pocket of my autumnal 
rustication, this year, will be but a flea-bite." 

"" Ah ! thou'rt a fortunate fellow,** said Hassell, with a sigh ; 
'^here have I been tied by the leg, ever since Trinity term, with 
annoyances growing out of Joshua Kesterton*s will ; and fine 
weather makes me rabid, because I can't go into the country to 
enjoy it. Adam Burdock and I will now be the only two princi- 
pals left in the Inn, except bed-ridden Bailey and poor mad 
Royston." 

'^ Burdock does not ruralize, I believe." 

" Not he : and if he had a mind so to do, he couldn't just 
now ; for he's shackled with the same case as myself." 

*^But can't you meet each other half-way, and close it at 
once?" 

^^ Impossible : — ^it's such an Augean stable, that a regiment of 
^ttomies, with a legal Hercules at their head, could not do the 



306 THE MATHEMATICtAV. 

needful in a night. We can't get at the facts, — at least we could 
not until within these few days ; and the results of our investiga- 
tions are so unexpected and staggering, that Adam and I, — ^aod, 
indeed, all parties concerned, — are well nigh paralysed. Such a 
case has not come under my cognizance for years : if you were 
not in such a hurry Td surprise you.'* 

** Tm not pressed, — ^not at aU. I share a chaise with another 
witness who picks me up in his way from the city ; so I have only 
to keep my eye on the gates : — ^pray step across." 

*^ No, hang it I the sun shines there ; see how it exposes the 
clefts and time-worn face of the building, so that the entire eide 
of the Inn looks as though it were in the last stage of decrepitude : 
it even makes you look ten years older than you say you are, firiend 
Waters. An elderly man*should always walk in the shade.** 

*^ What whims and fancies I ** said Waters, stepping lightly 
across the square. '* You*re the strangest fellow ! — but come, 
your case, in a few words." 

^^ Thus it is with us, then ; — excuse me, but even in the shade 
you look really past the figure you put yourself at : — let me see, 
fifty-four, isn't it?" 

" Forty-seven I my good fellow ! What the deuce — ^ 

*' Kely upon it you're labouring under a mistake : it's full 
thirty years since I first met you in Jay's writ of right. — Speak- 
ing of you, I should say, in defiance of verbal statement founded 
on memory, — ^which is treacherous, I find, with regard to age, 
when we are getting grey, — ^but judging from the date written by 
the hand of time on the face of the deed, in wrinkles as crabbed 
as court-hand — ^" 

" Tm sixty. Well, well, be it so ; and now for your case.'* 

" No, Waters, you are not sixty ; because if you were, by my 
reckoning, I should be sixty-seven, which I am not : but to re- 
sume. This is our case :~-Jo8hua Kesterton came to London 
with no character, and nothing but a penny loaf in his pocket 
Grood luck threw him in the way of the well-known Paul Win- 
pennie : Paul had compassion on him, and raised him, by de- 
grees, from an errand boy in his office, to first clerk ; and, at last, 
took him in as joint partner in all his concerns. After some 
time, Paul retired to enjoy a splendid ease for the rest of his life. 
At the end of five years, he discovered a secret, namely, that an 
iimnense quantity of leisure was the worst stock a mercantile man 
could possibly have on hand. He was suddenly seen in the city 



TRB MATBEMATICIAir. 807 

again : whether he was not so keen as when he left it, or men 
had grown keener during his retirement, I know not ; but Paul 
Winpennie, under whose touch every thing used to turn into 
gold, made ducks and drakes of his money ; and, by half-a-dozen 
unlucky, or, as the world says, mad-cap speculations, was reduced 
from affluence to comparative beggary.** 

^ Well, aU this occurs every day, Hassell,** said Waters. 

" Ay, ay ; but these are only preliminary facts.** 

"Unfortunately—** 

"Hold your tongue, and hear me out. Well, the inquest 
jury — I omitted to say he was found dead one morning in his 
room ; — the inquest jury returned a verdict of * died by the visita- 
tion—' " 

" But I thought it was generally believed that he died of a 
broken heart, produced by grief.** 

" We have nothing to do with broken hearts and grief, as a 
man of your standing on the rolls ought to feel ; we can only be 
governed by the record. But if the coroner's return had been 
felo de se, there would have been little for the crown to take but 
his wife ; and she, I think, from all I know of her, would have 
been deemed an incumbrance, by most people ; although she soon 
got another husband.** 

*• What ! pauper as she was ? '* 

" I said no such thing : if you interrupt me, I shall punish 
you by being prolix. Joshua Eesterton departed this life very 
shortly after his friend and benefactor, Winpennie, and, in a spirit 
of gratitude to the founder of his fortune, bequeathed a legacy of 
ten thousand pounds to Paul's widow." 

"Bravo I" 

" No, sir, it was not ' bravo ! * — he acted like an ass ; for his 
own daughter, whom he left residuary legatee, was beggared by 
the bequest. Partly through his oyoi ignorance of the actual 
state of his affairs, — ^partly through unexpected but apparently 
valid claims, made on his estate after his death, and the failure 
of a firm, who were his principal creditors, — ^when we obtained a 
tolerable insight to his affairs, we discovered that, after satisfyii^ 
the creditors, and paying the legacy to Mrs. Winpennie, which, 
you perceive, was a positive bequest, whereby she had a dear 
ehum of priority over his residuary legatee, the poor girl, instead 
of having, as her father doubtlessly expected, a fine fortune, will 
•earoely get enough to pay for her mourning." 



308 THB UATHBUATICIAir. 

** A bad caae," said Waters ; " but won't Mrs. TVinpennie do 
sometbing for the girl ?** 

** That's a riddle which I can't solve,'* said HasseU; **fixr, 
before she had an opportunity to do so, or, in fact, before she 
knew that her legacy would make a skeleton of the estate, she 
got snapped up by a young fellow, w£o says he's a Dane, but 
whom I suspect to be a Eerryman. From all I can learn, he 
doesn't feel disposed to forego a farthing ; and, as the woman 
married him without a settlement, he can do as he pleases, you 
know, with the money, when he gets it. I sincerely wish it may 
be soon, so that I can get out of town. The investigation of the 
claims of the principal creditors for whom I am concerned, is 
now within an ace of being concluded. As soon as the executors 
get our releases, of course, this gentleman, as he calls himself, 
who married the widow Winpennie, will insist on the fall legacy; 
and however well inclined our friend Burdock, and his clients the 
executors, may be towards the poor girl, who, I must tell you, 
was married into a mighty high, but very poor family, before 
her father's death, I can't see how they can help her. By George I 
here she comes, — ^I dare say, on a visit to Burdock, — and without 
her husband ! That's odd. Poor thing I Fd rather not seem to 
see her. Let us cross over, and TU stroll with you to the gate- 
way. — ^Don't stare at her, and TU be obliged to you." 

The two attomies walked to the other side of the square, and 
the lady passed hastily down the Inn towards Burdock's chambers. 
As she ascended the staircase she heard him speaking, in rather 
a tender tone, at the door of his office, apparently, to some per- 
son who was taking leave of him ; and, on reaching the first 
landing-place, she met a female, attired in a very gaudy manner, 
and altogether of rather singular appearance, whose handkerchief 
was held to her eyes as though she were weeping, or desirous of 
concealing her face. When his fair client reached the office door, 
which still remained open. Burdock was pacing to and fro within, 
evidently much vexed and agitated. 

"Are you alone, Mr. Burdock?** timidly inquired the lady, 
after she had stood at the door for a short time without being 
able to attract the notice of the attorney. 

" My dear madam, I ask a thousand pardons," replied Burdock, 
advancing towards her ; " I have been so annoyed that— Did yoa 
meet a lady in sulphur and sky-blue ?" 

" I did, sir : she appeared to be in tears." 



THE MATHEMATICIAIf. 309 

^ Ab I poor woman ! she is much to be pitied ; and yet, I 
protest, her appearance is so questionable, that I sincerely re- 
gret that the unhappy state of her affairs led her to pay me a 
visit. Had she not brought a letter, which I hold in my hand, 
from a most respectable friend in the country, I should certainly 
have scrupled to receive her. She*s very unfortunate, though, I 
dedare.** 

" But what are her griefs to mine, sir ? ** 

^' My dear Mrs. Wybum, as I have often told you, bad as 
your case is, there are thousands who would deem your situation 
a state of bliss compared with what they suffer. Here, for in- 
stance, is this poor woman, forty years of age at least, weak 
enough to come to me with paint on her cheeks, and dressed 
in blue and brimstone, but with acute feelings, notwithstanding 
her folly, who marries a man for love, and, in a few days after 
the ceremony, is deserted and robbed by him of what should 
have supported her in old age.** 

^^ Wretched woman ! like me, then, she is a beggar, I sup- 
pose ! " said Mrs. Wybum. 

^ I fear the poor creature is almost penniless, indeed : — ^her 
business with me was to receive a small sum, which my friend, 
from whom she brought the letter I hold, had confided to me 
three years ago, to invest for her. I placed it in the hands of 
your late lamented father ; and she holds his note for the amount : 
but we can*t pay her. If she had not told me she had a husband 
in whom the title now vested, having had no notice from him of 
the marriage, she must, of course, have had her money : — but 
now it*8 impossible. And the woman implored me so not to let 
her starve, that, in order to pacify and get rid of her, I have 
been compelled to request her to call again ; for which I am now 
most heartily sorry. I feel ashamed to have her seen go out of 
my office. But, odso ! my dear madam I how is it that I see you 
alone ? — Where is your husband ? " 

"In prison!" 

"At whose suit?" 

" In truth, I cannot tell : it is enough for me to know that 
he is a prisoner, and that I do not possess the means of setting 
him at liberty. Kind Mr. Burdock, will you still listen to me ? — 
Will you give me your counsel ?" 

"I am grieved — heartily grieved," said Burdock; "but I 
really feel at a loss how to advise — ^how to benefit you." 



SIO THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

*^01il you can — ^you can, indeed; or, if you cannot, there 
is none on earth who will. You know not half of my distresses. 
I am a thousand-fold more wretched than you imagine. Hty me, 
tir; — ^pity me, and I will pray for you." 

" I do pity you, most sincerely," said Burdock, considerably 
affected ; " but let me implore you to be calm." 

" I will be calm as marble, sir. I have told you my hus- 
band is in prison, without shedding a tear ; — ^and now, without a 
sigh, I will tell you, that my sorrows are of such a nature that 
I cannot— dare not — ^must not breathe a hint to him of what I 
suffer." 

" You positiyely alarm me, my dear madam. I cannot imagine 
you to have been guilty of any imprudence : and if not, what is 
there that a wife devotedly attached, as I know you are, to her 
husband, cannot confide to his bosom?*' 

" Oh ! much, much, Mr. Burdock. I have no friend, — ^none 
in the world, to whom I can tell my afflictions, but you ; and I 
have no claim on you to hear them : you have endured too many 
vexations, in your struggles for my welfare, already." 

" I regret that no better success has attended my poor endea- 
vours, Mrs. Wybum ; but, believe me, that as far as prudence 
will allow, my best exertions are still at your service." 

" Then you will hear and advise me ?" 

" I will, as I hope for mercy, to the best of such judgment as 
I am endowed with." 

"Oh! thank you, thank you! — on my knees I will thank 
you." 

" l^ay, nay I I must not be repaid thus : I shall charge the 
consultation in my bill, and I hope you will one day pay it,** 
said the attorney, with a smile. " Come, again let me entreat 
you to be calm." 

" I am sure I shall be so : — I have overcome the bitterness of 
bringing my mind to tell you my little tale, and I feel capable of 
doing so properly. Your kindness gives me additional courage 
and self-command. I shall endeavour to restrict myself to simple 
facts, and I will go through the task, unless my heart break in 
the attempt. Are we free from interruption ?" 

" Entirely so ; my clerks are both out, and I will answer no 
one until you have done." 

" Then I will begin at once. I solemnly enjoin you, sir, not 
to reveal what I am about to tell you to any mortal ; for, alas I it 



THB MATBBMATICIAN. 311 

coxLcems my huBband^s honour, — nay, even hit life. Much as 
he loves me, I think he would deprive me of existence, rather 
than let me make you acquainted with his weakness, — I will say 
his crime: but as it may save us both from being even more 
wretched than we are, I will trust it to your ear. When George 
Wybum married me, he knew I had considerable expectations, 
and, therefore, did not demand a settlement. My poor father 
allowed us a handsome income, while he lived; George was 
high-spirited and gay, but not extravagant ; and we had enough, 
— ^nay, something to spare, after our yearly expenses were paid, 
until within a few months before my father*s death, when a sad 
and sudden change came over us. At Harrowgate, my husband, — 
Heaven knows how, — ^formed an acquaintance with a man, who, 
after a short time, was our constant visitor and George's bosom 
friend. In three months, imder the influence of his associate, my 
husband became a gambler and a duellist I He was still kind to 
me, and I concealed his faults from my father. Vain were all my 
attempts to reclaim him : I had lost my power of persuading him, 
but yet I feel sure he loved me. I now bitterly lament my folly 
in keeping his proceedings a secret from my father ; for he went 
on in his evil ways. At last the climax arrived : he lost more 
than he could pay ; and, unable to bear up against the dishonour 
which his default would have brought upon him, he abruptly 
quitted Harrowgate with a determination to destroy himself. He 
wrote to his new friend, stating that, ere the letter reached its 
destination, he should be numbered with the dead. He declared 
that he felt unable to address his poor wife ; but he warmly re- 
commended her to the care of him to whom he wrote, and begged 
that her unfortunate husband's fate might be revealed to her as 
gradually as possible. The wretch came to me as he was desired : 
he told me a little, and I learnt the rest from the letter which 
George had sent him. Accompanied by this man, I made all pos- 
sible haste to the place whence George had written. I found him 
alive and unhurt. His pistols were lying on the table before him, 
when I rushed into the room, and he was writing to me : he could 
not leave the world without bidding me an eternal adieu ! He 
had lingered over the paper, which was damped by his tears ; but, 
from the language of the sentence which he was penning when 
we entered, his resolution to destroy himself seemed to have been 
unshaken ; and I am convinced that, had we not arrived sooner 
than he expected, and had not his heart urged him to assure me 



812 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

that he lored and blessed me in his last moments, I ^oold that 
day have been a widow. He embraced and wept oyer me, bat 
blushed before his friend^ and seined dreadfully enraged at our 
arrivaL When I, at length, succeeded in soothing him a little, 
he asked my companion to advise him how he ought to act. The 
reply I can never forget. It was this : — ' Why, truly, Mr* Wy- 
bum, after having stated that you were going to commit suicide, 
there is but one course to save your reputation, namely, — to 
keep your word : but as I suppose no one but myself, except 
your wife, is acquainted with the circumstance, no doubt you 
will see the wisdom of suffering certain notions, which, perhaps, 
are rather too rigorously attended to, in some quarters, giving 
place to the dictates of religion, et cetera ; — ^that is, if you feel 
satisfied that I can be depended on to keep your secret.* * Will 
you swear to do so?* asked my husband. *Nay,* replied the 
other, * if you doubt me, you have your remedy. Were I capable 
of wronging my friend, I surely should not be prevented tnm 
so doing by the comparatively cobweb fetters of a private oath.* 
Subsequently, I prevailed upon him, by reproaches and en- 
treaties, to promise me solemnly that he would relinquish aU 
thoughts of carrying his fatal resolution into effect : but he made 
the most solemn vow, that if either I or his friend betrayed the 
weakness, or, to use his own words, the cowardice he had shewn, 
in not completing what he had meditated, he should certainly 
blow out his brains the first opportunity; for be never could 
exist under the idea that he was the laughing-stock of the world. 
Summoning up his fortitude, he returned with us to Harrowgate : 
and, in a few days, a portion of what he had lost at the gaming- 
table was paid ; for the remainder, he gave bonds payable on the 
death of my father ; and I firmly believe he has never touched 
the dice-box since." 

** Then I am glad to say all seems to have ended more happily 
than could have been expected," observed Burdock. 

" Not so, sir, — ^not so, indeed," replied Mrs. Wybum ; " that 
fatal friend still hovers near him ; — ^my husband still hugs the 
snake that destroys while he embraces him. Those gambling 
debts, I am certain, were contracted by my husband with the 
villain's confederates." 

'* Then the bonds have been, at length, put in force against 
hun?" 

^ They have ; and I now owe my husband's loss of liberty, » 



TBE MATBEMATICIAK. 313 

I dnee abnoBt did the loss of his life, to the machinations of 
Blennerhagen?" 

** Blfflinfffhagen ! ** exdaimed the attorney, considerably sur- 
porised ; ^ you sorely do not mean our Mr. Blennerhagen, — ^he who 
Married Panl Winpeimie*8 widow I " 

«<He is the man,** replied Mrs. Wybnm: ^*he obtained an 
inftrodnction to Mrs. Winpennie by means of my hnsband. Foolish 
as she is, and lucky as she has been, in one respect, — alas 1 to my 
sorrow, — ^I sincerely pity her ; for miseraUe will be her fate. She 
is linked to a calm, determined villain, who entertains no spark 
of afieetion fi>r her : the possession of my poor father's l^acy, 
and not her person, was his object in marrying her." 

" And how do you know this, my dear madam P " 

^* Oh, sh: ! Blennerhagen has thrust his confidence upon me, 
and I have been compelled to listen to him. Unhappily, he has, 
or pretends to have, a passion for me ; and I have endured the 
ocmfession from his own lips. He has boldly told me, that, had 
George committed suicide, he should have offered me his hand, 
as soon as decency would have permitted him to do so. You find, 
air, that I am as good as my word : I tell you this without a 
blush or a tear, while you shudder ! " 

"Shudder! ay, and I well n^y. Thou do6t not blush or 
weep, indeed, my poor young sufferer ; but thy cheek is deathly 
pale, and thy eyes seem bumingin their sockets. I beseech you, 
let us postpone this.*' 

'*Nay, nay, pray hear ine to an end: I have brought my 
courage to bear it all ; if I relapse, I cannot work upon myself to 
go through the ordeal again." 

"But why not unmask this villain — this hypocrite — this 
wolf?" 

" Your honest indignation makes you forget that my husband's 
life is in his power. That fatal letter, which George wrote to him 
when he quitted Harrowgate with a determination to conunit 
soidde, is still in the possession of Blennerhagen ; I saw him 
take it j&om his pocket-book but two days ago, although he pro- 
tests to George that it is destroyed : and the publication of it 
would, I fear, hurry my husband to self-destruction at once. I 
know George's temper so well, that I tremble at the idea of in- 
cnxring so great a risk ; and yet what else to do I know not ; for 
the demon, after persecuting me in vain, for months, now holds 
that hand-writing before my eyes, and dares me to be virtuous I " 



314 THB MATHEMATICIAN. 

'* The monster I I will move mountams, but be 'bIuII be de- 
feated, — ay, and punished." 

^' Thank yon, thank you I — my heart thanks you: I knew 
your will would be good : but, alas I I doubt your power. Tou 
know not with whom you have to deal. Blennerhagen prides 
himself on being impregnable : he talks to me of working like a 
mathematician : he says that aU his plans are laid down with 
such geometrical precision that they cannot fail. He has thrown 
such a ma^c web about me, that I have felt myself to be almost 
his slave ; and yet, thank heayen, I am innocent, and loathe him. 
Save me, Mr. Burdock ! — ^but not at the expense of my husband^s 
life : save me, I implore you ! — ^I have no other friend." 

''I will save — I will extricate you, if it be in the power of 
man. I have worked like a negro for my money, and may soon 
be past working, and want it. I have debarred myself of every 
indulgence ; but I can — ^I will afford to gratify my feelings, for 
once in my life, even at the risk of diminishing some of my hard- 
earned little hoard. Mrs. Wybum, Pll back myself, if need be, 
with a thousand pounds, and, — confound the fellow, — have at 
him I Excuse me for swearing; but Tm warmed, and feel a 
pleasure in indulging — ^* 

'^ Be temperate, sir, in your proceedings, lest you forget that 
next to my own innocence, my husband's life — '* 

^^Do not fear, madam. I^ Mr. Wybum in prison, or at a 
lock-up house?" 

*^ At the lock-up house, sir, in Serle's Buildings." 

"Then Fll bail him. Hassell may laugh at me, when he 
hears that I have stepped out of my cautious path, if he likes; 
but m begin by bailing Wybum : for his liberty, at this time, is 
of the utmost value. Within a few days, the great struggle will 
come on, which must settle the main question between Hassell^s 
clients and the executors : on the fortunate result of that depends 
your only hope ; and a poor hope it is, I must confess : still, 
Wybum should be at large to fight it out, and strive to the last 
After to-day, I ought to be in hourly consultation with him. 

"Blennerhagen knows all this; and, not expecting God would 
raise up such a friend to George, has caused him to be arrested. 
As he boasts of generally making his actions produce double re- 
sults, he flatters himself, also, that I, being thus overwhelmed 
with this new misfortune, and deprived of the protecting presence 
of my husband, — '* 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 315 

"Curse him! — be shall he foiled! I won't put up with it, 
while I have breath ! " 

" I must tell you, — ^for, as you now have heard so much, you 
should know all, — ^that one of the threats or temptations he holds 
out to me, is this: — *Wybum,' he says, 'will soon, in all 
probabitity, be entirely dependent on my bounty ; for having, 
through my marriage with Mrs. Winpennie, an entire control 
over the ten thousand pounds legacy, which will, apparently, eat 
up the whole of your father's property, after payment of the 
debts, I can starve Wybum, if I like/ This is a specimen of the 
language which he dares to use to me. Had I my jewels left, 
I could have raised a sufficient sum, perhaps, to procure George 
his liberty, without troubling you ; but Blennerhagen obtained 
them from me long ago, without Mr. Wybum's knowledge, by 
protesting that he had spent all he possessed to keep the bond- 
holders quiet, and wanted money to enable him to make a figure 
before Mrs. Winpennie. I have been very weak and very foolish, 
you will say ; but what could I do ? Blennerhagen dares me to 
reveal a syllable of what passes at our interviews, to my husband : 
he tells me that he should instantly detect my treachety by George's 
conduct. I am forced to see — ^to hear him : — he is the worst of 
tyrants. If I strive to extricate myself from his wiles, I plunge 
deeper in his toils. To remain passive is to offer up myself a 
willing victim to a being, whom, of all others, I abhor. Could I 
have taken counsel of my husband, all might have been well : 
but I have not dared to breathe a word to him of my sorrows ; 
and Blennerhagen well knows how to obtain advantages over a 
wife, deprived, as I have been, of her natural supporter." 

" It shaU be at an end, I teU you : Wybum shall be bailed, 
and ril try if I can't play off a few tricks. We'll countermine 
this scoundrel. I'll insure your husband's life for my security, and 
then, if he have so high a sense of honour as you think, he won't 
fix me as his bail by shooting himself; for I shall make him 
understand that the office won't pay, if the insured perishes by his 
own hands ; so that we're safe imtil November : and, in the 
interim. Til sacrifice a little to those feelings which laudable pru- 
dence has taught me, hitherto, to smother. It's hard if a man 
cannot make a fool of Imnself once in his life ; and, should I lose 
my time and money both, humanity will be a plea for me, with 
my own conscience, and that of every honest man in the world. 
Besides, Tm only fifty, and shall not die a beggar if it comes to 

X 2 



316 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

the wont, periiapB. I will faiSl my promise, madam, be assaredt 
Time is precious : — liave you anything more to ask of me ?" 

'* A glass of water,** fiiintly replied Mrs. Wybum ; "^ a glass of 
water and a little air ; for my strength is gone.** 

Burdock, with great alacrity, opened the little window of his 
room, and brdught Mrs. Wybum some water, in a broken cup, 
timo enough to save her firom fdnting. Some one knocked at 
the outer door, and she almost immediately afterwards rose to 
depart. Burdock conducted her to the foot of the staircase, 
begging her to keep up her spiriis, and protesting that he thought 
he should prove himself as good a mathematician as Blen- 
nerhagen: ^^for,** added he, ^'I have dabbled in the science, 
and Euclid still affords me amusement in my hours of relaxation 
from legal business." 

The person who had knocked at the office door just before 
Mrs. Wybum*s departure, was the bearer of a note from Blen- 
nerhagen*s wife, in which she earnestly requested the fiivour of a 
consultation with Burdock, at her own house, on an affair of the 
utmost importance. The lady stated that she was confined to her 
room by indisposition, otherwise she would have paid him a visit 
in Fumival's Inn ; and she protested that, if he did not so far 
indulge her as immediately to obey her summons, she would, at 
the risk of her life, wait upon him at his office. 

"Paul Winpennie*s choice was always a fool,*' muttered 
Burdock, as he threw the letter on his table, after having perused 
its contents ; ^ she was always fantastical, and apt to magnify 
atoms into elephants ; but I don*t think she would write me such 
an epistle as this, if something extraordinary had not occurred : 
ergo, m go to her at once. Perhaps I may glean something 
which may assist me in extricating Wybum : I hope I shall ; for 
though I have promised his wife so much, at this moment I can't 
see my way clear a single inch beyond my nose, — except so far as 
regards bailing him, which FU do as soon as I return. It is pos- 
sible, that the woman has discovered something ; for the most silly 
of her sex possess an astonishing acuteness on particular occasions. 
I may meet Blennerhagen with his wife, too : — at all events TH 
go, and ponder on the way as to what proceedings I ought to take 
against this mathematical monster :--for act agamst him, I will ; 
on that Pm fixed — ^that is — ^if I can find out a way to do so, with. 
any prospect of 8ucce«." 

As Burdock concluded this little soliloquy, one of his derks 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 317 

letnmed ; and the old gentleman, without a moments delay, set 
off towards Blemierhagen*s house. On reaching the comer of the 
street in which it stood, he was accosted hy a female, who hegged 
him, in a very mysterious manner, to follow her. 

" My good woman," said Burdock, ^^ you are in error, I ap- 
prehend." 

*' Not if I am speaking to Mr. Burdock, and if you are going 
to Mrs. Blainerh^en," replied the woman. 

^ I certainly am that man," said Burdock ; ** and you are qidte 
right in supposing that I am on my way to visit that lady : — 
what then?" 

^*' Follow me and I will conduct you to her. I am her woman, 
and act by her orders." 

*' Mighty odd I " exclaimed the attorney ; " but lead on ; — T\\ 
follow you. I suppose she has her reasons for this ; and it mat- 
ters but little to me which way I go, so that — mark me, woman — 
so that I am not led a dance : for though I walk slowly, on ac- 
count of an. infirmity in my knees, time, I assure you, is precious 
to me. Go forward." 

The woman immediately walked on towards a little back street, 
down which she proceeded a short distance, and then turned 
under an old arched gateway into a solitary yard. The buildings 
on one side of this place appeared, by a weather-beaten notice 
board, to have been long without tenants. Through a low wall, 
on the opposite side of the yard, there were entrance-doors to the 
back gardens of a range of respectable houses. 

** I perceive," said Burdock, as the woman opened one of the 
garden doors, ^' that you are smuggling me in the back way. — 
Give my compliments to your mistress, and tell her, that I prefer 
entering in the ordinary manner. If you will step through the 
house, I dare say I shall be at the front door nearly as soon as 
you have opened it." 

Burdock then turned on his heel, and strode away from his 
guide at rather a brisk pace. On reaching the front door, he 
found the woman there waiting for him. Casting on the old 
gentleman a look of reproach, and significantly putting her finger 
to her lips, she conducted him up stairs, and silently ushered him 
into Mrs. Blennerhagen^s dressing-room. The lady, who was re** 
dining on a sofa, attired in an elegant morning dress, rose as he 
entered ; and, between jest and earnest, reproached him for not 
having given a more prompt attention to her note. Burdock 



318 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

protested that he had not been guilty of the least delay in obey- 
ing her commands. 

" Well, well ! ** said the lady, " perhaps I am wrong ; but to 
a woman of my nerves, suffering at once under indisposition, and 
the most agonizing suspense, every moment seems to be an age.** 

** Whafs the matter, madam?" inquired Burdock. "Where 
is Mr. Blennerhagen ? " 

^' Thank Heaven I he is out : — ^my anxiety has been intense 
lest you should not arrive before he returned. My dear Mr. 
Burdock, Tm in the greatest distress." 

^' Then, upon my honour and conscience, madam, I donH see 
how I can be of any assistance to yon ; for my hands are so ^ill 
of female distress just now — ^ 

" Oh, sir ! — ^but not such pressing — such important distress as 
mine. Recollect that Tm a wife ; — a wife, Mr. Burdock, and not 
altogether indifferent to my husband.** 

"Well, madam ! there are many wives who can say quite as 
much, I assure you. — ^But now for your facts : I am bound to 
hear, even if I cannot assist you." 

" Ah ! you're a kind — a dear old gentleman : — ^I always said 
so, and now I find that I am right. Tou have a heart formed to 
sympathize with those who are in sorrow.*' 

" The world thinks rather differently of me," replied Burdock t 
" my feelings, I know by experience, will bear as much as most 
men's. Business, madam, — business has hardened them : — but, 
allow me to ask, what has occurred ? You seem to have been 
ruffled." 

" Do I?** said Mrs. Blennerhagen, turning to a looking-glass 
which stood on the table by her side, and glancing at the reflec- 
tion of her still lovely face, with a look of anxiety. " Well, now 
I see .myself, I declare Tm quite frightened. I positively look 
like a hag I don't I ? — I ought not to suffer such trifles to affect 
me so severely." 

" Trifles, my dear madam ! " emphatically exclaimed the at- 
torney : " I beg your pardon ; but I was led to understand, firom 
the tenor of your language — ** 

" Attribute it to the excess of my womanly fears, — ^increased, 
perhaps, by indisposition, — and excuse me. We are weak crea- 
tures, as you must know ; even the very best of us are agitated 
into agony, by phantoms of our own creation. My suspicions — ^ 

" Am I summoned to advise you on suspicion, then ?•* 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 319 

''Nothing more, I assure you: and, really, I ought to be 
ashamed to entertain, for one instant, so poor an opinion of Mr. 
B.'s taste ; and, permit me to say it, of my own person. Now I 
reflect, it was exceedingly wrong of me, perhaps, to be jealous of 
the woman." 

''I wish, with all my heart, madam, you had reflected an 
hour ago." 

" Would that I had I I should have been saved much — ^much 
uneasiness : — ^but I now laugh at my fears," said the lady, aflect- 
ing to titter. 

" I am sorry I cannot join you, madam." 

" Ah, Mr. Burdock 1 I know the interest you take in my hap- 
piness ; and, therefore, I sent for you to advise, — to comfort me. 
I look up to you as to my father." 

" You do me an honour, Mrs. Blennerhagen, to which I never 
had an idea of aspiring." 

" The honour is entirely on my side, Mr. Burdock," replied 
the lady, taking one of Burdock's hands in both her own ; '' I 
feel proud to be permitted to make free with so worthy and 
respectable a character. My confidence in you is unbounded, Mr. 
Burdock : you see, I receive you in my dressing-room — " 

"For mine own part," interrupted the attorney, "I should 
have preferred the parlour ; and so, most probably, would Mr. 
Blennerhagen." 

" Don't talk so foolishly, Mr. Burdock : — attorneys, like 
physicians, are privileged persons, you know." 

"True, true, madam," said Burdock, rather hastily quitting 
his seat ; " and now, as the cause of our conference is at an end, 
I will take my leave." 

"My dear sir, you surely are not going to quit me in this 
state : — ^you have not heard my complaint." 

" I thought your mind was easy on the subject." 

" Oh I by no means I I am far from soothed, — ^far from tran- 
quillized : your discrimination may shed a new light upon my 
mind. I must insist on throwing myself upon your consider- 
ation." 

" For consistency's sake, don't blow hot and cold in the same 
moment, Mrs. Blennerhagen. Be in a rage, or be pacified : and 
if I must hear your tale of woe, the sooner you tell it the better." 

" You'll promise not to call me a silly, foolish woman, then, if 
you think my apprehensions were groundless.'* 



320 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

" Of coune, madam, I should scuroely call a lady a fool to her 
face, even if I thought she deserved it." 

^ How deeply I am indebted to you I — you cannot conceire 
how much the cast of your countenance, when you look pleasaoi} 
reminds me of my late excellent husband^ — ^poor Mr. Winpennie ! 
— ^Alas I I never was jealous of him, with or without a cause. He 
was the best — ^the kindest — ^'* 

"Excuse me, madam; but, however I may reverence the 
memory of Mr. Winpennie, my time is of too much value, and 
too seriously engrossed just now, by my duties towards the livings 
to listen to an eulogy on the dead." 

" Well I no doubt you are perfectly right : the value of your 
time, I know, must be great. In a few words, then, about two 
hours ago, my servant acquainted me that there was a strange- 
looking creature inquiring at the door for Mr. Blennerhagen : 
she was painted up to the eyes, and dressed in a vulgar amber- 
coloured pelisse, with staring sapphire ribbons — ^* 

Burdock here interrupted the lady, by exclaiming, ** Hang me 
if it isn't the woman in brimstone and blue 1 " and bursting into 
a hearty laugh. 

"Why, Mr. Burdock, you astonish me I" exdaimed Mrs. 
Blennerhagen ; " I beseech you to cease ; — my head will split; — 
you shatter my nerves to atoms. I insist upon your explaining 
yourself; — I ^all scream if you don't cease laughing, and tell me 
the meaning of this mysterious conduct." 

" Oh, madam I " replied Burdock, endeavouring to resume his 
gravity, " do not be alarmed at that unhappy creature : — ^I sent 
her here." 

" Is it possible, Mr. Burdock, that a man of your respecta- 
bility can have such acquaintance ? " 

"The woman is not what she appears, Mrs. Blennerhagen. 
I saw her, for the first time in my life, to-day. Her business 
with me was briefly as follows : — About three years ago, a certain 
sum was remitted to me by a country attorney, for whom I act as 
agent, to invest for this woman ; and I deposited it in the hands 
of Joshua Kesterton. Circumstances now compel her to call in 
her money ; but a legal dij£culty occurs in paying her off; and I 
referred her to Mr. Blennerhagen, who, in all probability, will be 
the party most interested in the matter ; thinking that, as the 
smn was small, he might, perhaps, from motives of charity, re- 
lieve the woman's wretchedness, by waiving the l^;al ol^ectianst 



THB MATHEMATICIAN. 821 

kis own nsk. HiE^ hat And so I haye to thank the woman in 
snlphnr and blue for my walk, eh ?** 

*^Mr. Bnidock, I tow, sir, that you orerwhelm me with con- 
ftiaion : but if you were a woman, I am sure you would admit, 
that when a female of this lady's appearance makes such particu- 
lar inquiries after a newly*married man, and refuses to tell her 
business to his wife — ^** 

'*Ha, ha, ha I*' exclaimed the attorney again; ^Uhat, too, I 
plead guilty of producing. I told her, that you had nothing to 
do with the matter: for that the legal estate was Tested, by your 
marriage, in Blennerhagen. I am willing to acknowledge, that 
the drcumstanoes were suspicious: and, as long as I Utc, be 
assured that I will noTcr send a female, in a yellow and azure 
dress, to a married man again. Hoping you will forget the 
uneBflinesB which I haTe innocently brought upon you, I now, 
madam, beg permissi(m to withdraw.** 

Burdock had risen from his chair, and was on the point of 
taking up his hat and cane, when Mrs. Blennerhagen's serrant 
entered the room, and said, in a hurried tone, that her master 
was at the street door. 

^ Then, FU wait to see him,** said Burdock, placing his hat 
and cane on the table again, and resuming his seat. 

** Heavens, sir I are you mad ?** exclaimed Mrs. Blennerhagen. 
^ Unfortunate woman, that I am ! — ^I did not expect him this 
half-hour. What is to be done, Wilmot ? ** 

**I><»i*t be alarmed, madam,*' replied the woman; 'Hhere*s 
quite time enough for the gentleman to get into the cupboard.** 

"Is there no other resource left, Wilmot ?** 

"None that I can see, madam ! ** replied the woman; "he*ll 
meet master on the stairs if he goes down : and though there's 
time enough, there's no time to be lost. Sir,** added she, taking 
up the attorney's hat and cane, "you'd better slip in at once." 

"Slip in!" exclaimed Burdock; "why should I slip inP — 
What do you mean ? " 

"Don*t speak so loud, sir: — master will hear you,*' said 
Wihnot. 

" What do I care ?" cried Burdock, in a stem tone ; " are you 
out of your senses ? Why should I hide like a galivantii^ beau 
in a farce?" 

"Oh I the wretch I he'll be the ruin of my reputation!" ex- 
ekiined the lady. 



322 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

*♦ Reputation ! — Whnt have I to do with your reputation, Mra 
Blennerhagen?" 

" This is my mistresses dressing-room, you see, sir." 

" Well, you brought me here, woman : and if it is, as your 
mistress says, — attorneys, like physicians, are privileged persons." 

*' Oh I he won't discriminate, Wilmot. Don't you know, you 
cruel man, that we can't blind others with what we blind our- 
selves? I am as pure as an angel ; but appearance is every thing; 
and Mr. Blennerhagen is more jealous than a Turk." 

"" That I am sure he is, madam ; for he doats on you." 

^' And you, Mr. Burdock, will not be complaisant enough to 
save our connubial bliss from being wrecked for ever. — If you 
don't comply, I must scream out, and say you intruded yourself." 

" Will you hear me speak ?" cried the enraged attorney. 

*^ Hark, how he bawls ! And he knows well enough the wife 
of Caesar must not even be suspected," said Mrs. Blennerhagen ; 
" let the wretch ruin me ; — do, Wilmot." 

** Indeed I won't, madam, if I can help it. Come, sir, if you 
are a gentleman, prove yourself to be so." 

" Bedlamites ! will you hear me ? — is not my character — " 

" Oh ! he is a bachelor attorney, and lives in chambers, Wil- 
mot : and you know the character of that class of men is quite 
obnoxious in cases of reputation : but let him have his way ; I 
must be his martyr, I see." 

" Come, come, sir, — right or wrong, be civil to a lady." 

"What, do you think I'll make a Jack-pudding of myself?" 

" Stop his mouth, Wilmot : don't let him speak ; for I hear the 
creak of Mr. Blennerhagen's boot." 

The lady and her woman now seized on the astonished attorney, 
and thrust him into a closet. The door was instantly dosed on 
him, and the key turned in the lock. Mrs. Blennerhagen returned 
to the sofa ; and Wilmot was applying a smelling-bottle to her nose; 
bathing her brows, &c., as though she was just reviving from a 
fainting fit, when the majestic Blennerhagen entered the room. 

With a keen and hurried glance he seemed to survey every 
object around him, while he closed the door : he then approached 
the sofa, and uttered a few endearing epithets while he relieved 
Wilmot from the task of supporting her mistress. 'Anxious to 
get rid of him, Mrs. Blennerhagen rapidly recovered ; and her 
husband having, apparently by accident, mentioned that he had 
left a friend in the parlour, she urged him, by all means, to retain 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 323 

to faiB guest, as she found herself comparatively well, and desirous 
of obtaining a little repose. Blennerhagen ki^ed her cheek ; and 
after recommending her to the care of Wilmot, passed round the 
sofa to a writing-desk, which was placed on a table behind it, 
where he remained a few moments, and then hastily withdrew. 

Mrs. Blennerhagen immediately resumed her activity. " Now, 
my dear WUmot," said she, ** our only hope is to get the attorney 
down the back stairs, and away through the garden.'* 

'* That is how I have settled it, madam, in my own mind,** 
said the woman : ^* master won*t be up again at least these ten 
minutes.** 

^ If yon have any pity, emancipate me from this state of 
torture,** groaned poor Burdock : *' I would face a roaring lion 
rather than renuun here any longer; my reflections are most 
poignaat.** 

^ Gracious Heaven I** ezdaimed Mrs. Blennerhagen, ^' Tve lost 
the key.** 

'' Then, of course, you will permit me to burst open the door,** 
said the attorney. 

** Not on any account : be patient, I beseech you. Wilmot, 
where could I have put it ?** 

" I don*t know, madam ; you locked the door yourself : search 
in your bosom.** 

*' I have ; but it is not there : — nor on the sofi^ — nor any 
where. You must have had it.** 

^ Indeed, madam, I never saw it sinoe you took it off the shelf 
to lock the door.** 

''Women!** exclauned Burdock, whose patience was com- 
pletely worn out ; '' rash, mischievous, accursed women I take 
notice that I am become desperate ; and if you do not find the 
key and release me instantly, I shall certahdy break out, and 
depart, at all hazards.** 

''For all our sakes have patience, su*,** said the lady, in a 
soothing tone ; " be quiet but for a few moments : I hear Mr. 
Blennerbagen*s boot again.** 

Before his wife could reach the sofa, Blennerhagen strode in, 
accompanied by a stranger. 

" Outraged, injured, as I am,** said he, fixing his dark eye 
indignantly on his wife, '' I make no apology for thus introducmg 
agtnmgertoy<«ir.p8rtmeiit. This gentlemaa b my friend, and 
comes here with me, at my own request, to be a witness of my 



324 THK MATHEMATICIAN. 

sbame ; so that I may be able to obtain l^al reparation, at least, 
from the unknown assassin of my happiness. Peterson," added 
he, turning to the stranger, '* take the key and open that doset- 
door." 

" Lord I Mr. Blennerhagen," said the kdy, vdth a forced 
laugh ; *^ don*t carry on the joke, by making such serious faces : 
I told you, Wilmot, he would be too deep for us : — see, now, if 
he hasn't got the key. Where did you find it, love ? ** 

*' I took it, madam, from your hand," replied Blennerhagen, 
*' when your mind was occupied in affecting a painfol and lan- 
guishing recovery from syncope. This may be a jest to you, but 
it is none to me ; nor shall it be to him who has wronged me. 
I hare set my mark upon the yillain : — ^perceiving a portion of 
male attire, which I could not recognise as my own, hanging 
from the crevice of the closet-door, while I appeared to be busy 
at the desk behind you, I cut it off : I have it here," added 
Blennerhagen, producing a triangular piece of brown cloth from 
his pocket ; " let the man who owns it claim it if he dare." 

*' Adam Burdock dares to claim his own in any place," ex- 
claimed the attorney, bursting the door open with one furious 
effort : ^^ that's a piece of the tail of my coat." 

^' Mr. Burdock I " exclaimed Blennerhagen. 

*' Ay, sir, Mr. Burdock, — ^heartily ashamed of himself^ for being 
made a ninny by your wife, or a dupe by both of you and my 
precious friend, Mrs. Wilmot. You all look astonished ; but, 
be assured, there is no one here half so much astonished as 
m3r8elf. I believe you to be capable of anything, Blennerhagen ; 
but, on a moment's consideration, I think your wife is too much 
of a simpleton to act as your confederate, in a plot on my pocket ; 
and notwithstanding your skiU in mathematics, I am willing to 
attribute all this to mere accident." 

*^ He calls me a simpleton, Wilmot ; — ^he casts a slur on my 
intellects, Mr. Blennerhagen," exclaimed the lady. 

^ in that he is more uncharitable than myself, madam," said 
Blennerhagen : " it may be an accident, it is true ; but I questioii 
whether the gentleman, with all his professional skill, will be able 
to persuade a special jury to think so." 

^* I am sure my mistress is as innocent as the child unborn,** 
observed Mrs. Wilmot. 

** Hold your tongue, woman, and leave the room,^ said Bleu* 
nerhagen, angrily. 



THB MATHEMATICIAN. 325 

*' Indeed, I shaU not leave the room," said Wilmot: "Til 
stand by my mistress to the last, and won't leaye her for you or 
anybody else. You're a couple of vile wretches ; and there isn*t 
a pin to choose between you." 

^ Oh ! Wilmot, thou art thy poor heart-broken mistress's only 
Mend, after all," sobbed Mrs. Blennerhagen ; ** she is the victim 
of circumstances and her own refined feeHngs." 

^' Peterson," said Blennerhagen, '^ I am under the unpleasant 
necessity of requesting you to remember all that you have just 
witnessed. You will agree with me, I think, that I ought to 
make this man quit my house before I leave it myself." 

" Unquestionably," replied Peterson. 

" I shall do no such thing," said Burdock ; ^'conscious of my 
innocence, I defy you ; — I laugh at you : and, before I quit thi 
roof, I will make you wish you had sooner crossed the path of a 
hungry wolf than mine. I dare you to give me half an hour's 
interview." 

*' Ought I to do so, Peterson ? " calmly inquired Blennerhagen. 

" Not without a witness, I think," was the reply. 
' " With a score of witnesses, if you will," said Burdock : — 
"events have precipitated my proceedings: — with a score of 
witnesses, if you will. But mark me, man, you shall lament, 
if we are in solitude, that there will be still one awfiil witness of 
your villany. I will unmask your soul ; I will shew you to 
yourself, and make you grind your teeth with agony, unless you 
are, indeed, a demon in human form." 

"Heavens! Mr. Burdock," exclaimed Mrs. Blennerhagen, 
" what can you have to say against my husband ? " 

" It matters not, madam ; he shall hear me in this place, or 
elsewhere hereafter." 

" I scorn your threats, sir," said Blennerhagen ; " and publicly 
or privately, I will meet any accusation you may have to make 
against me." 

" Privately be it, then, if you dare." 

" Dare, sir ! Leave the room every body : — ^nay, I insist ; — 
Peterson and all. "Now, sir," said Blennerhagen, closing the 
door after his wife, Wilmot, and Peterson, who, in obedience to 
his command, had left the room ; " now, sir, we are alone, what 
have you to say ? " 

" Blennerhagen," said the attorney, fixing his keen eye on that 
of the Mathematician, " George Wybum has been arrested.** 



826 THE MATHBlfATICIAN. 

" It is an event that has heen long looked for. I am rather 
hurt that, in oonmmnicating with his friends on the subject, he 
should have given you a priority over myself. I lament to say 
that he has fallen into bad hands." 

** He has," replied Burdock ; ** but I will endeavour to release 
him.'' 

** I thank you on behalf of my friend," said Blennerhagen, 
with a malicious smile ; ^* but I would suggest, with great 
humility, that you will find sufficient employment, at present, to 
extricate yourself." 

"Sir," said Burdock, "I wanted but the key-note to your 
character : every word you utter is in unison with your actions." 

" We are alone,*' said Blennerhagen, " and I can allow you 
to be vituperative. Detection renders you desperate : that philo- 
sophy which enables me to gaze calmly on the wreck of my own 
peace, teaches me, also, to bear with those who are so unfortunate 
as to be guilty. I would not personally bruise a broken reed : I 
cannot descend to chastise the man, who has injured me deeply, 
for an insult in words. The highwayman who has robbed us, may 
defame our characters with impunity ; the lesser merges into the 
greater offence : we do not fly into a passion, and apply the cudgel 
to his back ; we pity, and let the law hang him. K your hands 
were quite at liberty, pray what course would you adopt to benefit 
George Wybum ? " 

" I am so far at liberty, I thank Providence," replied Burdock, 
" as to be able to bail him ; and I mean to do so within an hour." 

"You do?" 

" Ay, sir, to the confusion of his enemies, as sure as Vm a 
sinner. You seem amazed." 

" I am indeed, — ^to say the least, — surprised, and naturally 
delighted to find fortune should so unexpectedly raise him up a 
friend." 

" I am rather surprised myself; but FU do it, Tm determined, 
hap what will." 

"It is truly grievous, — a matter of deep regret, — that I 
cannot fold you in my arms," said Blennerhagen. " How strange 
it is that the same bosom should foster the most noble and the 
basest of thoughts. In the human heart, the lily and the hemlock 
seem to flourish together. If it were possible that your offence 
against my honour could admit of palliation or forgiveness — ^but 
I beg pardon ; I must be permitted to write a hasty line, on a 



THB HATHEHATICIAN. 327 

subject of some importance, which, until tlufl moment, I had for- 
gotten. It is the miserable lot of man, that, in the midst of his 
most acute trials, he is often compelled to attend to those minor 
duties, the neglect of which would materially prejudice some of 
those about him. I shall still give you my attention." 

"Every syllable — every action of this man, now amazes me," 
said Burdock to himself, walking towards the window: "he 
almost subdues me from my purpose." 

" I shall be entirely at your service in an instant," said Blen- 
nerhagen, advancing to the door vdth a note, which he had 
hastily written, in his hand: "I beg pardon, — oblige me by 
ringing the beU." 

Burdock mechanically complied vnth his request ; and Blenner- 
hagen stepped outside the door to give his servant some directions, 
as Burdock conceived, relative to the note. During his brief 
absence, the attorney, acting either from experience or impulse, 
cast a glance on the little pad, consisting of several sheets of 
blotting-paper, which lay on the escrutoire. Blennerhagen had 
dried his note on the upper sheet : it was rapidly penned in a 
fiiU, bold hand : and the impression of nearly every letter was 
quite visible on the blotting-paper. To tear off the sheet, to hold 
it up against the looking-glass, so as to rectify the reverse position 
of the words, and to cast his eye over those which were the most 
conspicuous, was the work of a moment. It ran thus : — " Gil- 
uiKD — I must change my plan — let Wybum be instantly re- 
leased — contrive that he shall suspect he owes his liberty to my 
becoming security for the debts — ^BiiENNEBHAGEn." 

Burdock had conveyed this precious document to the side- 
pocket of his coat before Blennerhagen returned : he resolved not 
to act rashly upon it, but to consider calmly what would be the 
most efficacious mode of using it. He felt highly gratified that 
he now possessed the means of supporting Mrs. Wybum's state- 
ment as to Blennerhagen's treachery. It afforded him consider- 
able satisfaction, also, that he might, in all probability, not only, 
in some measure, benefit Wybum, but, by politic conduct, force 
Blennerhagen to desist from giving him any trouble on account 
of the awkward situation into which he had been placed by Mrs. 
Blennerhagen*s foUy. 

All these ideas darted through his brain with the rapidity 
of lightning. He felt pleased ; and, doubtless, exhibited some 
symptoms of his internal satisfaction in his countenance ; for 



328 THE MATHEKATICIAIf. 

Blennerhagen resumed the conversation by saying, ^ Yon smile, 
sir : the prospect of doing a good action lights up your coimte- 
nance, and makes yon forget your personal troubles. Until this 
day, you have, to me, been an object of respect. What could 
induce you to act as you have done, — ^to injure and then brave 
me ? You threatened to unmask me — ^to make me crouch and 
tremble before you : I am still erect, and my hand is firm." 

"Let that pass, sir," said Burdock; "the novelty — the ri- 
diculous novelty, of my situation, must be my excuse. You can, 
perhaps, imagine the feelings of an innocent man, labouring 
imder a sudden and severe accusation." 

" I can, indeed," replied Blennerhagen. " Do you say you are 
innocent ? " 

" I scorn to answer such a question." 

"Truly, your manner staggers me; — ^your character has its 
weight, too : I should be exceedingly glad to see you exculpated. 
May I ask what brought you to my wife's dressing-room?" 

"To that I will reply: — I received a summons from Mrs. 
Blennerhagen, and was conducted to this apartment by her 
servant : the idiot wanted to smuggle me in the back way, but 
I wouldn't put up with it." 

" One inquiry more, and I have done. On what occasion, and 
for what purpose, were you so simmioned ? " 

" Eh ! why — gadso I it's very absurd, to be sure ; but there I 
stand at bay. I must consider before I answer your question : 
I'll speak to Hassell about it, and hear what he says on an A B 
case, without mentioning names. Perhaps it wouldn't be a 
breach of professional confidence either ; but we shall see.'* 

" Mr. Burdock, I am almost inclined to think, although ap- 
pearances are powerful, that I have not been wronged. Mrs. 
Blennerhagen, although I respect and have married her, is not 
a woman for whom a man, with any philosophy, would carry an 
affair of this kind to extremities, particularly where the internal 
evidence is weak. I am willing to give you the full benefit of 
my doubts : but, sir, at the least you have been indiscreet. Your 
conduct may cost me much : my reputation is at the mercy of 
other tongues ; which, however, I must admit, may be silenced. 
Should I consent to smother this matter, will you, in return, 
comply with such request as I may make, without questioniiig 
my motives or betrayiug my confidence?" 

" What if I decline to do so ?" 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 329 



^ Then I will accept nothing less than a thousand pounds/' 

'* As hush-money, I suppose, you mean." 

^* Call it what you please. I shall put you to the test, most 
probahly, within a week. You know the altemative : — ^if you 
decline that too, I shall go on with the action, which, in justice 
to myself, I am compelled to commence inmiediately. That I 
may not be defeated, I must also leave my house, or turn my 
wife out of doors, to wait the result. But do not be alarmed, I 
will aUde by what I have said, — your services or a thousand 
pounds. After this, I need scarcely say to you, that I do not 
think I have been actually injured : but the case is clear against 
you ; other eyes have witnessed appearances, which go to impeach 
Mrs. Blennerhagen*s virtue ; and I act as any other man would, in 
demanding atonement, in some shape or other. I shall now send 
up my friend to see you out." 

^^ Bern guocunque modo rem I" ejaculated the attorney, as 
Blennerhagen closed the door after him. ^ This fellow is a fear- 
ful one to strive with ; and I am, unfortunately, in some degree, 
fettered by the fact he alludes to. But cheer up, Adam ! — ^your 
cause is good ; be courageous, and you shall surely conquer." 

Without waiting for the arrival of Peterson, Burdock snatched 
up his hat and cane, hastily descended the stairs, and, vdthout 
looking to the right or left, quitted the house. He got into a 
coach at the first stand he came to, and directed the coachman 
to set him down, as quickly as possible, in Serle's Buildings, 
Carey Street. On arriving at the lock-up house, he found that 
George Wybum had already been liberated. He was, in some 
d^ree, prepared for this intelligence, by Blennerhagen's letter to 
Grillard, of which he had so luckily obtained a copy. His regret 
at being thus anticipated by the agent of Blennerhagen, did not 
make him forget that it was a full hour beyond his usual dinner- 
time : he hastened to Symond's Inn coffee-house; where, notwith- 
standing the unpleasant scenes of the morning, he ate a very 
hearty dinner, drank an extra half pint of wine, and perused the 
daily papers, before he returned to his chambers. 

On entering his office, one of the clerks informed him that 
there was a lady in his private room, waiting, in the utmost 
anxiety, for his return. Burdock immediately walked in, and, to 
his great indignation and amazement, beheld Mrs. Blennerhagen. 
He recoiled from the sight of her unwelcome countenance, and 
would, perhaps, have furly run away from her, if the lady had 



330 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

not pounced upon him before he could retrograde a single pace. 
She dragged him into the centre of the room ; where, clasping one 
of his arms in her hands, she fell on her knees, and implored 
him to pity and relieve the most ill-starred gentlewoman that 
ever breathed. " Nothing shall induce me to rise fix)m this spot,** 
continued Mrs. Blennerhagen, ^^ until you promise, at least, to 
hear me." 

" I submit to my fate,** replied Burdock. " Pray release my 
hand ; these buildings are old, and I stand exposed to a murder- 
ous rush of air. I am naturally susceptible of cold, and have been 
taught by experience to avoid this spot. Release me instantly, 
or I must call the clerks to my assistance.** 

" Promise, then, to hear me.'* 

** Anything, madam ! — Odso ! — ^have I not already told you 
I would submit to my fate ? And a hard fate it is,'* continued 
Burdock, taking up a strong position behind his writing-table as 
soon as his arm was at liberty ; ** I consider myself particularly 
unfortimate in ever having heard of the name of Burdock, or 
Winpennie either." 

" Don't asperse my late husband,'* said the lady ; " call me 
what you like, but don't asperse Paul. I am a wretched woman, 
Mr. Burdock.*' 

** You're a very silly, self-sufficient woman, Mrs. Blenner- 
hagen," replied the attorney. " Are you not ashamed to look me 
in the face, after having, by your absurd conduct, and the assist- 
ance of your satellite,' your female familiar, brought me into a 
situation so distressing to a man of my respectability ? " 

"Don't speak against my poor Wilmot; — don't call her 
names : call me names, if you must be abusive, and Til bear it 
all patiently. As to your sneer upon my being familiar with her, 
I can safely say that, faithful as she is, I have never forgotten 
that "Wilmot is a servant. A woman who has seen so much of 
this vile, odious world, as I have, is not to be told that too much 
familiarity breeds contempt.** 

" You misunderstand me, madam ; — but to explain would be 
useless. Allow me to ask you, coolly and temperately, — after what 
has taken place, what the devil brings you here? You must be 
out of your senses — Pm sure you must — or you'd never act thus.** 

" You will not say so when you know my motives : but, 
anxious as I feel to explain them, I can't help observing, how 
cruel it is for you to upbraid me with what took place to-day. 1 



tHE MATHEMATICIAN. 331 

can lay my hand upon my heart, and declare that I acted for the 
best : any prudent woman would have done exactly as I did ; for 
who could expect that ever a man of your years and experience 
would let the tail of his coat be caught in the closet-door ?" 

" Pray don't go on at this rate ; — go home, my good woman, — 
go home at once." 

*^ Good woman, indeed, Mr. Burdock I You forget, sir, that 
you are talking to the relict of the late Paul Winpennie. I hope 
you do not mean to add insult to the injury you have done me." 

'' Zounds ! Mrs. Blennerhagen, it is 2 who have been injured, 
— ^injured by yow, madam." 

" Oh ! I beg your pardon ; if you had only recollected that 
your coat — ** 

^* Talk no more about it ; — it shall be as you please, if you will 
drop the subject, and come to the point at once. Why do I see 
you here?" 

'^ I hope I may be permitted to sit." 

^^ Oh ! certainly, — I beg pardon," said Burdock, handing Mrs. 
Blennerhagen a chair, and immediately returning to his position 
behind the writLog-table. 

^^ I am, at this moment^ exceedingly indisposed, you , will 
recollect," said the lady ; and I ought to be in bed, with a 
physician by my side, rather than in Fumiyal's Inn, talking to 
an attorney." 

^^ You are perfectly right, madam ; and I beg to suggest that 
you should avoid the fatigue of conyersation as much as possible." 

^^ I thank you for your friendly hint, Mr. Burdock, and I will 
endeavour to profit by it. Now Pm going to surprise you. 
Wilmot — ^no matter how— contrived to overhear a great part of 
your conversation with Mr. Blennerhagen. It seems that a 
thousand pounds was the sum mentioned ; but Wilmot thinks, 
and so do I, that, by good management, with a solemn declara- 
tion and her oath, half the money would settle the matter. Now, 
my dear Mr. Burdock, as you are a little obstinate and self- 
willed, — ^you know you are, for youVe too much sense to be blind 
to your own little faifings, — I thought I would come down at once, 
and, if you wavered, throw my eloquence and interest into the 
scale. I need not point out to you how much trouble it will save 
us both, if you can prevent this little affair from being made 
public. What say you ? " 

"Why, truly, madam, your matchless absurdity almost dci- 

Y 2 



332 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

prives me of utterance. Yon heap Felion upon Ossa with such 
celerity, that, before I can recover from the surprise which one 
ridiculous action has produced, you stun me with a still more pro- 
digious achievement." 

^^ And can you really hesitate ?" 

"Hesitate, woman! Not at all: — Tm resolute! — Blenner- 
hagen shall never see the colour of my coin/* 

"Why, Mr. Burdock! are you a man? Can you, for a 
moment, seriously think of suffering an injured lady*s reputation 
to be placed in jeopardy for the sake of so paltry a sum ?** 

" Pray hold your tongue, or, vexed as I am, I shall positively 
laugh in your face. Do you think I am mad, or that I find my 
money in the streets ? But that I can scarcely conceive Blenner- 
hagen is fool enough to think I am such a gudgeon as to bite at 
his bait, I should certainly be led to suspect what I hinted this 
morning to be true." 

" That I am his confederate ? and that we had laid our heads 
together to entrap you P — ^I would rather die than you should ima- 
gine that I was so vile a wretch ! Oh ! Mr. Burdock, I could not 
exist under such an imputation. To prove that I^ do not merit 
your odious suspicions, and as you are so ungenerous as not to 
come forward vrith your own money on this occasion, TU tell you 
what ril do : — T\\ pledge the pearl necklace, tiara, ear-rings, &c., 
which poor Mr. Winpennie gave me on my wedding-day, and 
never would let me part with even when he wj« distressed, — 
ril pledge those, and the ruby suite I was last married in, with 
my two gold watches, and as many little trinkets as will make up 
the money, which TU give you before I sleep, if you will promise 
to keep the secret, and make the matter up with Blennerhagen ; 
so that there may be no piece of work about it. — "Now what do 
you think of that?" 

" Mrs. Blennerhagen," said Burdock, advancing from the situ- 
ation which he had hitherto occupied, and kindly taking the 
lady's hand, "you are a very weak, imprudent woman ; — excuse 
me for saying so ; — ^it is the fact : and if you are not more careM, 
you will, in all probability, get into a position, from which you 
will find it impossible to extricate yourself. The present case 
is bad enough, in all conscience ; but I have some reason to 
hope, that it is to be got over without the sacrifice of your 
pearl necklace, or the ruby suite in which you were last married ; 
at all events, let them remain in your own jewel-box for 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 333 

the present. We thU not bare recourse to either, unless, and 
undl, all other earthly means fail. Let me, however, advise 
you as a friend, should you escape scot-free on this occasion, to 
be more careful in your conduct for the future. Now don't say 
another word, but go home and make yourself easy.*' 

" Oh I Mr. Burdock,** exclaimed the lady, " this is, indeed, 
most fatherly of you. Your words are balm to my agitated 
spirits; a sweet calm begins to pervade my bosom; — good 
Heavens ! what*s that ? ** 

" What, madam ? ** eagerly inquired Burdock, casting a hurried 
glance aroimd him. 

''As Tm a living creature, I heard the creak of Blenner- 
hagen*s boot ! — He*8 coming I Pm sure he*s coming I ** 

As the lady spoke, some one knocked at the outer door ; and, 
immediately after, one of the clerks came in to announce, that 
the moment Mr. Burdock was disengaged, Mr. Blennerhagen 
would be glad to speak with him. 

The attorney and his fab: visitor gazed upon each other in a 
very expressive manner, at this information : the lady whispered, 
'* I shall faint ; Tm sure I shall ! ** Burdock, after a brief pause, 
told the clerk that he should be at liberty in one minute, and the 
young man retired. 

** How exquisitely annoying ! '* exclaimed the attorney, as 
soon as the door was closed ; '' this is the consequence of your 
indiscretion, madam.'* 

" Don't abuse me, sir ;— don*t tread upon a worm ! ** replied 
the lady. '' We should not lose time in talking, but set our wits 
to work at once. Oh I if Wilmot were here, now ! — That stupid 
derk I couldn't he as well have said you were out, or particularly 
occupied, and told Mr. Blennerhagen to call again ? — Where shall 
I conceal myself? Have you no little room ? *' 

" Not one, I am happy to say.*' 

" Nor even a cupboard ? — of course you have a cupboard : — I 
can squeeze in anywhere, bless you ! ** 

" There is not a hiding-place for a rat ; the window is two 
stories from the ground, and excessively narrow into the bargain : 
so that circumstances luckily compel you to adopt the plain, 
straight-forward course, which is always the best. I strongly 
suspect your husband has followed you here : to conceal yourself 
would be useless, — ^nay, fatal. You must face him.** 

" Oh I Mr. Burdock, you drive me frantic ! ** 



334 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

" Nay, nay, madam ; — ^pray be calm : don't tear your hair in 
that frightful manner ! " 

" Talk not of hair : — ^besides, they're only ringlets which I 
wear in charity to Wilmot ; it takes her an hour to dress my 
own : — I scarce know what Tm doing or saying. — Stay ! if I 
open the upper and lower right-hand doors of that press or book- 
case, or whatever it is, won't they reach to the other wall ?" 

" Possibly they may." 

** Then I can hide myself in the comer.'* 

" Notwithstanding my caution, you are acting as unwisely as 
ever. I protest against all this, and give you notice that I ^vill 
be no party to the concealment." 

" Do hold your tongue, and be guided by me : — ^you men have 
really no brains. There," said the lady, placing herself behind 
the two doors, which, as the side of the piece of furniture to which 
they belonged stood within a short distance of the comer of the 
room, effectually concealed her from observation, " now, if you'll 
only get rid of him quickly, PU warrant you I shall be safe." 

Burdock immediately rang a little table bell, and his clerk 
ushered in the Mathematician. 

^^You are doubtless surprised to see me so soon, sir," said 
Blennerhagen. 

" Not at all ; I shall never be surprised again." 

'' A wise man should wonder at nothing, perhaps. Unexpected 
circumstances, which I will exjdain, have led me to visit you this 
afternoon. In the first place, I understand, from my servant, 
that a female has been sent to my house by your directions : her 
appearance and story, it seems, were equally extraordinary. May 
I be excused for having a natural curiosity to know who she was, 
and what she wanted ? She was sent up, I hear, to ]Mrs. Blenner- 
hagen : I have no wish that she should trouble my wife again." 

" Are you anxious to keep her business with you a secret from 
Mrs. Blennerhagen ?** 

" Possibly I may be ; but I don't know until I discover what it 
is : — ^we have all been young. "Why do you ask ?" 

" Simply because your wife is in this room." 

" I don't understand you." 

^' Mrs. Blennerhagen is now within hearing : she stands behind 
the doors of that old book-case.** 

"Excuse me, sir; — you have dined, no doubt; — but I am 



serious." 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 335 

** And so am I," replied Burdock. " K you disbelieve what I 
say, go and see." 

"Oh I you vile creatures!'' exclaimed Mrs. Blennerhagen, 
rushing from the place of her concealment : — " you pair of 
wretches I A plot ! a plot I There's a vile plot laid between you 
to delude — to vilify — ^to destroy me. I see through it all. And 
you, — you old, abandoned man,** added the lady, addressing 
Burdock, " to lend yourself to such a scheme ! — Tm ashamed of 
yftu ! — YouVe played your parts well ; but I will be a match for 
you. Oh I Heavens I is this the way to treat a wife ? Mr. Blen- 
nerhagen, you may well look confounded.** 

"Confounded!" exclaimed Blennerhagen ; "Tm thi^nder- 
struck ! " 

" Ay ! no doubt you are. What, 'I am to be got rid of, I 
suppose, by this vamped-up affair between you and your satellite, 
— as he dares to call poor Wilmot, — to make room for your 
creature in sapphire and yellow. If I die in the attempt, I will 
see the bottom of it all, and expose you both ! ** Mrs. Blenner- 
hagen now bustled out of the office. 

" This woman is foolish,** said Blennerhagen. 

" I think so, decidedly,** quoth the attorney. 

" What brought her here, pray ? ** 

" Why, as I was a little obstinate and self-willed, she came to 
throw her interest and eloquence into the scale, (I use her own 
words,) and induce me to prevent our little affair from being made 
public. Her woman, who overheard the conversation which I 
had with you this morning, seems to think that, although you ask 
a thousand pounds, with a little management, a solemn declara- 
tion of innocence, and her own oath, half the money would settle 
the matter. Ha, ha ! ** 

Blennerhagen bit his lip. After a short pause, he inquired if 
the attorney had yet made up his mind to state, on what occasion, 
and for what purpose, he had visited Mrs. Blennerhagen in her 
dressing-room. 

" I have not spoken to Hassell on the subject,** replied Bur- 
dock ; " but I feel no repugnance, under present circumstances, 
to say that she sent for me because she was jealous of the woman 
in brimstone and blue. I have her note, if you wish to look at it. 
When she heard you coming, I was pushed, nolens volens^ into 
the cupboard, by your wife and her maid. That, briefly, is the 
whole of the matter. By-the-by, I should add, that I acquainted 



336 THE MATHEMATICIAK. 

Mrs. Blennerliagen with the lady's husiness, and I am now willing 
to do you the same service/* 

" You are very obliging : — to ascertain that, is partly my QJDJect 
in calling on you." 

Burdock now went through the particulars of the poor woman's 
case with great minuteness. Blennerhagen listened very atten- 
tively, and, at the conclusion of the recital, observed, " This is all 
new to me." 

" Of course it is," replied the attorney ; " because, legally 
speaking, you have nothing to do with it. It concerns the 
executors, in the first instance ; and not you, who, by your 
marriage, merely represent the legatee : their straight-forward 
course is to send the woman about her business, because she is a 
femb covert, and cannot give a release, — ^the title being in her 
blackguard husband. The executors are bound to act strictly ; 
but if you, who are the party beneficially interested, out of 
motives of feeling think fit to run the risk of consenting to her 
paltry claim being paid off, out of your enormous legacy, why, of 
course, they would willingly do it. To give her a chance, I took 
leave to refer her to you, in order that you might hear the story 
from her own lips." 

" I shall he happy to be guided by you," said Blennerhagen ; 
" but I see nothing, for my own part, in this case that should 
induce us to go out of the usual course. Were we to put our 
hands into our pockets to relieve every deserving object that occurs 
to our notice, we should soon become paupers ourselves. Those 
who are rich have often as powerful calls on their charity for 
hundreds — nay, thousands — as pence ; but they are compelled to 
exert their philosophy, and conquer their inclinations to relieve ; 
in fact, for their own sakes, to marshal reason against mere feel- 
ing. You ground your appeal on the score of charity ; but I 
could name much greater objects of charity than this woman. 
She must abide by the consequences of her own folly. She has 
been stripped of her property, and deserted by her husband, you 
say : well, — ^that's hard, I confess ; but you know such cases are 
continually occurring. It would require the exchequer of a Croesus 
to remunerate, — for that is the proper word, — ^to remunerate all 
the women who have been plundered by those whom they have 
chosen to make legal proprietors, — observe me, — ^legal proprietors 
of their property. Besides, we have only this person's own word 
in support of her strange statement : how do we know but what 



O'HE MATHEMATICIAN. 387 

she was quite as improvident as ber husband P And wbo is to say 
tbat, instead of bis deserting bis wife, tbe lady herself might not 
baye driven him from bis home ? It is in the power of some of 
tbe sex to do such things." 

''That may be true enough,'* said Burdock; ''but I am 
warranted in saying the contrary is the fact, in tbe present case, 
by the letter of a most respectable correspondent, which the woman 
brought with her. That the husband was a most consummate 
villain, I have ample evidence. My informant states, — ^but I 
will read that portion of his epistle,** continued Burdock, taking 
a letter &om bis desk : " speaking of tbe husband, he says, 
' during his short stay in our neighbourhood, previously to the 
marriage, he contrived, by obtaining goods on credit from several 
tradesmen, to support a respectable appearance ; and my unfortun- 
ate client, believing him to be a man of some property, — although 
nobody knew who he was, or where he came from,~-enoouraged 
his addresses.* And then, a little below, it is stated, that ' on 
account of a sudden indisposition with which she was attacked, 
tbe wedding was postponed. The delay thus produced bad 
nearly proved fatal to the hopes of our adventurer : bills, which 
he bad given to some of his creditors, became due, and were 
dishonoured. Proceedings being hinted at, he called the trades- 
people together, and very coolly requested them to give him time. 
The creditors said they did not feel inclined to do so, because* — 
favour me with your attention, Mr. Blennerhagen — 'because 
they had strong suspicions that the bills were forgeries ; and that, 
if such were the case, — and they had but little doubt of the fact, — 
it vras in their power to hang him. This intimation, which would 
have staggered any man but him to whom it was addressed, did 
not produce any visible effect on his feelings. He very calmly 
told them, in reply, that even if tbe bills were forgeries, — ^which, 
of course, he could not admit, — ^he should feel under no appre- 
benaon ; for, said he, I know that you are all too needy to sacri- 
fice your own interests for the sake of public justice : you can- 
not afford to lose your money ; and lose it, you certainly would, 
as you all very well know, if you prosecuted me to conviction. 
Were I a wretch, without present means or future expectations, I 
should expect no mercy ; but as you are aware that I am on the 
eve of marriage with a woman of some property, you will act 
upon that excellent maxim — charity begins at home, and keep the 
alleged forgeries in your pockets, in hopes that I shall take them 



338 THE MATHEMATICIAN^ 

up as soon as I am married. You owe a duty to the public, but 
you owe a greater to yourselves and to your families ; and you'd 
much rather take ten shillings in the pound, than see me, even if 
I were guilty, dangling at your expense in any devil's larder in 
the country.'" 

" Well, sir, the creditors waited." 

" They did ; but the deuce a bit did he pay them : he got 
what money he could together, as soon as he was married, and 
left them, as well as his wife, in the lurch. They have now sent 
me up the bills, as there's no hope of his paying them, and 
begged me to get hold of him if I can : they say he has been 
seen in London without his whiskers ; and that, in a few days, 
they hope to afford me some clue to his present haunts. They 
refer me to his wife for a description of his person, which I mean 
to get of her at our next mterview, if I can persuade the woman 
to be calm enough to give it me." 

"What is her name?" 

" Tonks." 

" Then I am right in my suspicions." 

" To what do you allude ?" 

"Mr. Burdock," said Blennerhagen, "I will not scruple to 
confess that I know the man. Tainted as his character now is, he 
has been worthy of esteem. Once in his life, sir, he did me so 
essential a service, — greatly to his own detriment, — that I have 
ever since groaned under the obligation, and never, until this 
moment, did I entertain a hope of being able to relieve myself 
from its weight." 

" This is very odd," said the attorney ; "but I am resolved 
not to be amazed. And, pray, on what do your hopes to help him 
rest?" 

" On my interest with you." 

" That is not worth a button ; and, if it were, I don't see how 
you could benefit the man. Professional pursuits have not alto- 
gether destroyed my feelings ; but I don't think that I should 
repent having been instrumental in bringing such a villain as 
this to justice." 

" Do not let us be too hasty in consigning a man to infamy," 
replied Blennerhagen. " Circumstances are often powerful pal- 
liatives of guilt ; and circumstances, you know, are not always 
— are they ever? — under our own control. Offences, which, 
abstractedly considered, appear heinous, would lose much of their 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 339 

odium, were we in possession of the whole chain of consequences, 
from the first inducement to commit crime, to its final consum- 
mation ; and it would he but common charity to hope that such 
may have been the case in the present instance. I stand excused, 
at least, I trust, for endeavouring to evince my gratitude to this 



man." 



" How can you possibly do so ? " 

" By procuring the destruction of those bills." 

"What did you say?" 

"Destroy those acceptances in my presence, and do me 
a trifling favour which I shall presently mention, — ^understand- 
ing, of course, that you will solemnly assure me I have not 
been injured, — and the events of this morning shall be buried 
in oblivion." 

" Why, I really thought you had more sense than to make so 
absurd a proposal," said the attorney : " how am I to account to 
my clients for the loss of their papers ?" 

" Oh ! every one knows that man is fallible, and may mislay 
things: clerks, too, — who have access to an attomey*s private 
room, — are poor, and open to temptation : laundresses frequently 
sweep valuable documents off the floor and bum them : even iron 
chests are not impregnable ; and robberies take place in spite of 
every precaution." 

" I certainly never met with your equal, Blennerhagen : and 
m tell you a piece of my mind presently ; — something has just 
struck me." 

" m hear you with pleasure ; but let us dispose of this little 
matter at once : — ^hand me over the bills, pay the woman what 
she wants, and send her back into the country to-morrow morn- 
ing. Tonks has many excuses for his conduct, with which, how- 
ever, it is needless to trouble you. He has acted improperly, — 
I will even say, criminally, — ^but I cannot let this opportunity 
escape of balancing our obligations. I shall feel much more easy 
a^r it. I must, therefore, press you to oblige me." 

" You stated, just now, that you had some other little favour 
to ask." 

" Had we not better settle this aflair first ? My plan is always 
to dear away as I proceed." 

" I, on the contrary, when any arrangement is contemplated 
between parties, like to bring every point into hotch-pot, as a 
preliminary step." 



340 THE MATHEMATICIAN. • 

^^ Say no more, Mr. Burdock ; — ^I will yield with pleasure. It 
is rather a disagreeable subject on which lam compelled to 
touch ; but I will go into it at once. Wybum's wife has been 
with you to-day ;-Hshe stated something to my disadvantage.** 

*^ What induces you to suppose so ? " 

" To be candid, — ^your threats this morning aroused my sus- 
picions. I have since seen Mrs. Wybum, and extracted the facts 
from her.*' 

"What facts?*' 

" Imprimis, — that she has visited you to-day." 

" Granted." 

*' Item, — that she has thrown out hints which, if founded in 
truth, would not, perhaps, tend materially to the enhancement of 
my reputation." 

" I shall say nothing on that subject.** 

" Can you deny it ? — ^K I am wrong, why not deny it P — ^Will 
you deny it?" 

" No, I won't." 

" Then it is as I imagined. — ^Now, sir, as you are kindly dis- 
posed towards my friend, I wish to warn you, seriously, against 
that young woman. She labours under gross delusions : an idea 
has entered her head, that I am her husband's enemy, and an ad- 
mirer of her person. Nothing can be more preposterous. She 
has reproached me, bitterly, for every step that I have taken to 
benefit George Wybum, imder the impression that my proceed- 
ings would be prejudicial to him. I acquit her of malice ; but 
she certainly is very deficient in common sense. Perhaps, how- 
ever, I am uncharitable in saying this ; for women, in her sphere 
of life, are totally incapable of forming a just opinion on the 
actions of man in mere matters of business. They are like those 
spectators of a chess-match, who, having obtained only a slight 
glimmering of the mysteries of the game, consider those moves 
of a piece which are, in fact, master-strokes of skill, as tending to 
bring the king into cheek-mate." 

" You are a chess-player, I presume, Mr. Blennerhagen," said 
Burdock. 

"I am, sir; chess is my favourite game. But to proceed 
with my statement : — George Wybum himself is by no means a 
man of business. Proud, and ridiculously affecting independence, 
although he scarcely possesses a shillii:^, he would disdain the 
slightest favour I could offer him : he will not willingly be under 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 341 

an obligation to any man. That assistance, which in extremity 
he might accept from a stranger, he would scorn if proffered 
by a friend : I am, therefore, under the necessity of acting in 
the most circuitous manner, to benefit him. K I do good, in 
my office as his friend, I must do so by stealth. Mrs. Wybum 
has not mind enough to perceive this : a combination of ma- 
noeuvres is to her mysterious, and consequently fearful ; for she 
cannot imagine how anything can be fair that is not manifest 
to her limited capacity. Now, sir, I have ahready made con- 
siderable progress in relieving my friend from his difficulties, 
and I do not wish to be thwarted, either by this woman's weak- 
ness, her whims, or her delusions. I can convince you, at once, 
of the honesty of my intentions; and I call on you, as at least a 
well-wisher to George Wybum, not to countenance his wife's 
follies, but to put on the wisdom of the adder, and be deaf to her 
tales ; — ^in fact, not to bring yourself into trouble, by becoming 
the confidant of another man's wife, and her abettor, without his 
knowledge, in counteracting such measures as his best friend may 
think fit to adopt for his ultimate, if not immediate, benefit. I 
am urged to make this communication ; I do it unwillingly, but I 
think you will feel that I am right." 

^* And this is your request, Mr. Blennerhagen ?" 

« It is." 

" Have you any thing else to ask ? " 

^' Absolutely nothing : — ^I require nothing but your promise on 
this point." 

*' And the bills—" 

" Oh !— -of course, the bills : — ^your promise and the bills." 

" You have omitted to prove to me the honesty of your inten- 
tions towards Mr. Wybum." 

" I will do so in a few words. — ^Although piqued at George for 
not immediately acquainting me with the circumstance of his be- 
ing arrested, the moment I quitted you this morning, I flew to his 
creditors, and procured his instant release, by becoming security 
for payment of the bonds on which he had been arrested. You, 
doubtless, have ascertained that he is discharged : if not, you 
may do so at once, by sending one of your clerks to the lock-up 
house. This, you must allow, is a tolerably good proof of my 
intentions towards him. You will understand, that I do not wish 
him to know how far I have gone, as it would be needless, at pre- 
lent, to hurt his pride. We should reverence a friend's feelings, 



342 THE MATHEMATICIAN. 

although, to our minds, they may appear failings. You are now 
convinced, I hope.'* 

*'I am!" exclaimed Burdock, with unusual energy; '*I am 
convinced that you are an atrocious scoundrel ! — ^DonH frown, or 
pretend to be in a passion, or Til shew you no mercy. You're 
check-mated, Blennerhagen." 

*^Mr. Burdock! what's the matter? — TMiat has possessed 
you?" 

^^ A spirit to put out and amove such a monster as you arc 
from honest society. To dumb-founder you, if it be possible, 
without more ado, know that I am fully acquainted with the 
contents of the note you wrote in my presence this morning : — 
' Gillard — I must change my plans — let Wybum be instantly 
released — contrive that he shall suspect he owes his liberty to 
my having become security for his debts — ^Blennerhagen.' I 
have the words, your hear, by heart ; and what's better, for my 
purpose, I have them in your own hand-writing, in my iron 
chest. I tore off the impression which you made with the note 
on your blotting-paper. Now, sir, what say you ?" 

" Nothing," replied the Mathematician, with his ordinary com- 
posure of manner ; " nothing, but that I shall be under the neces- 
sity of entering into a longer explanation than I could wish at 
this moment, in order to clear up the circumstance." 

" I will hear no more of your plausible explanations : — ^I have 
heard enough already. It is time for me to speak." 

" With all my heart." 

" Where is the letter which George Wybum wrote to yon, — 
that letter in which he stated he was about to destroy himself? — 
Be brief in your reply ::— where is it ?" 

" Burned." 

" 'Tis false ! I must be explicit : you shewed it to Mrs. 
Wybum very lately ; — say withhi these two days." 

" I beg to suggest, that before you gave me the lie, (I post- 
pone the insult ibr a moment,) you should have reflected that 
even in two days there is time enough to bum ten thousand 
letters, and that I have not been deprived of volition during that 
period." 

" Admitted. But I know more than you imagine ; and I will 
not be trifled with. You deem it to be so valuable a document, 
that you commonly have it about your person. Allow^ me merely 
to run my eye through your pocket-book." 



THE MATHEMATICIAN. 343 

^ You carry this with too high a hand, Mr. Burdock,** said 
Blennerhagen ; " you ask too much, sir ; and in a manner, that 
one who possessed less calmness than myself, would not tolerate. 
I am not to he intimidated. It would he as well, perhaps, if we 
postponed this discussion, imtil you are in a cooler mood." 

^ Not yet, sir ; not yet, if you please. I have something more 
serious to say.** 

*' You are not going to unmask a hattery on me, I hope,*' said 
Blennerhagen, with apparent gaiety. 

^ It may he that I am. Hear me : — ^I hope I shall he forgiven 
if I am wrong : should I, however, be in error, a few hours will 
set me right. I strongly suspect — I will not call you Blenner- 
hagen, for I have little doubt but that — " 

'' Hold ! ** exclaimed Blennerhagen, placing his hand on Bur- 
dock's lips ; — ^^ hold I I beseech, I entreat you. Before you utter 
another word, I demand, I implore the favour of being allowed 
to commune for a few moments with myself.** 

Burdock intimated his acquiescence by a nod to this request. 
Blennerhagen rose from his seat, and paced rapidly up and down 
the room. A multitude of thoughts seemed to be hurrying 
through his mind ; and large drops of perspiration trickled un- 
heeded from his brow. After a few moments had elapsed, he 
began to recover his composure, and resumed his chair. 

" Mr. Burdock,*' said he, " I am grateful for this indulgence. 
It is, I believe, an established principle, with professional men, 
that the confidential communications of a client should be held 
most sacred." 

'* So far as regards myself, and many whom I know, that is 
certainly the case," replied Burdock. 

" Allow me to ask — ^for whom do you consider yourself con- 
cerned under the late Joshua Kesterton's will ? *' 

"First, for the executors; next, for your wife and yourself; 
and, lastly, for Mrs. Wybum and her husband.** 
' "I have the honour to be your client up to this moment, 
I believe." 

" Of course." 

" Then, sir, I beg to acquaint you, in that character, that I 
am Tonks." 

" You don't surprise me at all," said Burdock ; " I thought as 
much, and was just going to tell you so.*' 

" I hope I shall do myself no injury by confessing that I 



844 THE MATHEMATICIAN 

peroeiyed you were ; and availed m3rself of the opportmiity of 
gtating the fact, in order to obtain the benefit of your silenoe, 
and allow me to add, — ^your advice.** 

*' Nay, nay," replied Burdock, ** I really must decline adyiflong 
you.'* 

'^ Well, be it ao,'* said Blennerhagen ; ^* I have sense enough 
to see that my only safety is in immediate flight. I have been 
careless in some minute points of my calcnlationB, and my air- 
built castle topples about my ears ; but I must not be overwhelmed 
by its ruins.*' 

^' Understand that I cannot assist you,** said Burdock ; ^ un- 
derstand that most positively. Here's a clear felony ; — at least, 
Fm afraid it would turn out so. And you see, (it has just occurred 
to me,) although you're my client under Kesterton's will, yet, as 
the biUs have actually been transmitted to me — ^* 

" I have heard you say, Mr. Burdock,** interrupted Blenner- 
hagen, " that while you were concerned for a man, you would 
never act against him." 

•' I admit it ; but, you see, in a case of felony — ^* 

*' Allow me to go on : — ^without my confidential communica- 
tion, you would, at this moment, have nothing but conjecture to 
warrant you in calling me Tonks." 

" I don't deny it." 

" I am under your roof, too." 

" Granted." 

** Lastly,— villain as you deem me, I am unfortunate as well 
as guilty. My actions have been culpable, I confess. Money, 
money, has been my object : I have been compelled to catch little 
fish, to bait my hooks for great ones. The woman who calls 
herself Tonks (which is not my real name) has been, unfortun- 
ately for herself, one of my victims. I wanted money, and I 
scrupled not at any scheme that appeared safe, to get it : — ^the 
end sanctified the means. I have a father, Mr. Burdock, — a grey- 
headed man, who has pined in prison during three miserable 
years : I am the wretched cause of his sufierings. He was con- 
victed, in large penalties, for ofiences against the revenue com- 
mitted by me, — by me alone, Mr. Burdock. I attempted to 
bring the onus of the offence on myself, and to relieve him fixim 
the accusation ; but justice, in this case, was blind, indeed. My 
father is in his cell, sir ; but, although balked in my designs at 
present, yet still, while I have existence, in other scenes, in other 



THB MATHEMATICIAir. 345 

lands, Fsther, — for Vm no longer safe here, — ^I will wrestle with 
finrtone, at all haiaads, until I procure a snfficient sum to effect 
his release.** 

^ Suppose, for a change, as you have hitherto been unsuccess^ 
you were to adopt some honest coarses — I mean, if you escape.** 

** Perhaps I may : — guilt, however, is but comparative, and — ^** 

** Well, enough of this. What have you to say to your at- 
tempt on the virtue of Mrs. Wybum ? ** 

^ I was under the influence of a passion which I could not 
control.** 

'' You*ll be hung as sure as you*re bom, if you suffer yourself 
to be governed by such sophistry as you preach.** 

^ I hope not,** replied the Mathematician, '^ for it would break 
that old man*8 heart, who has no joy to support him in his cap- 
tivity but his joy as a father in me. If I had freed him, he must 
not have known how I obtained the means to do so.** 

" Another reason for your being honest,** observed Burdock ; 
'* make a beginning, and you'll find the path pleasant afterwards : 
— only make a beginning.** 

*'I will, immediately,** replied Blennerhagen, taking several 
papers from his pocket-book, and laying them open on the at- 
tomey*8 table : " there is George Wybum's letter,** added he ; 
** and there are the bonds on which he has been arrested. — ^Hush ! 
Was not that a knock at the door of your chambers ? ** 

Voices were now heard in the outer office; and, in a short 
time, Burdock*s clerk came into the room to announce the arrival 
of Mrs. Blennerhagen and Mrs. Tonks. 

"My second wife, doubtless, obtained her predecessor*s ad- 
dress this morning,** said Blennerhagen, " and has been to fetch 
her. Come in and shut the door, young man,** continued he, 
addressing the clerk : — I think I heard you close your shutters 
just now : how many candles have you on your desk ? 

" Only one, sir,** replied the clerk, " at this moment. 

" Oblige me by snuffing it out, apparently by accident, when 
yon return to your seat, and utter some exclamation when you 
have done it : — do not delay.** 

The clerk paused for a moment; but, as Burdock made no 
remark, the young man interpreted hi? silence as a tacit acqui- 
escence to Blennerhagen*s request, and withdrew. In a few 
seconds he gave the signal : Blennerhagen immediately strode 
out) rushed across the outer office, and effected his escape. 






346 THE MATBBMATtCIAIT. 

Aa soon ae the clerk had procured s light, Burdock infonoed 
the Udien, im a few words, of Blennerhagen's Tillauies ; and then 
left them, weeping in each other's arma, to go in quest of Wybnm 
and his wife. 

Whbin a week, the clainM on Joshua Kesterton's estate were 
finally detenoined ; and the amount proved to be bo much len 
than dther HtSMll m Bivdock had snticipsted, as to leave s 
considerable sum after deducting the legacy. Mra. Blennerhagen, 
— or, to speak mwe correctly, the widow 'Winpennie, — not only 
pud poor Mrs. Tonks her fall claim, hut very generonsly ang- 
menled Wybnm's residue, by allowing a handsome deducti<m in 
his favour out of her ten thousand pounds. Neither of his wives 
ever heard of the Mathematician again ; and, to quote a facetious 
entry in the old attorney's private memcHrandum-book, — Geoige 
WybuiB wa* GtmTiDced of the folly of his conduct, 



THE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 

8oMS years ago, the turnpike rood, from the city of Bristol to 
the Utile hamlet of Jacobsford, was deft in twain, if we may use 
the expression, for the kngth of rather more than a furlong, at a 
little distance from the outskirts of the village, by the lofty garden 
walls of an old parsonage house, which terminated nearly in a 
point, at the northern end, in the centre of the highway. The 
load was thus divided into two branches : these, after skirting the 
walls on the east and west, united again at the south end, leaving 
the parsonage grounds isolated from other property. The bound- 
ary walls were of an unusual height and thickness ; they were 
surmounted by strong oaken palisading, the top of which pre- 
sented an impassable barrier of long and projecting iron spikes. 
The brick-work, although evidently old, was in excellent condi- 
tion : not a single leaf of ivy could be found upon its surface, nor 
was there a fissure or projection perceptible which would afford a 
footing or hold to the most expert bird^s-nesting boy, or youthful 
robber of ordiards, in the neighbourhood. The entrance gate was 
low, narrow, immensely thick, and barred and banded with iron 
on the inner side. The tops of several yew and elm trees might 
be seen above the palisading, but none grew within several feet 
of the wall : among their summits, rose several brick chimneys, 
of octagonal shape ; and, occasionally, when the branches were 
blown to and fro by an autumnal wind, a ruddy reflection of the 
rising or setting sun was just perceptible, gleaming from the 
highest windows of the house, through the sear and scanty foli- 
age in which it was embosomed. According to tradition. Prince 
Rupert passed a night or two there, in the time of the civil war ; 
shortly after his departure, it withstood a siege of some days, by 
a detachment unprovided with artillery ; and surrendered only 
on account of its garrison being destitute of food. Within the 
memory of a few of the oldest villagers, it was said to have been 
occupied by a society of nuns : of the truth of this statement, how- 
ever, it appears that the respectable sisterhood of Shepton Mallet 
entertain very grave, and, apparently, well-founded doubts. 

For many years previously to and at the period when the 

z 2 



348 THB LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 

events abont to be recorded took place, a yery eiboellent clergy* 
man, of high scholastic attainments, resided in the parsonage 
house. Doctor Pljmpton was connected, by marriage, with 
several opulent families in Jamaica ; and he usually had two or 
three West-Indian pupils, whose education was entirely confided 
to him by their friends. Occasionally, also, he directed the studies 
of one or two young gentlemen, whose relatives lived in the 
neighbourhood ; but the number of his sdndars seldom exceeded 
four, and he devoted nearly the whole of his time to their ad- 
vancement in classical learning. 

Doctor Flympton had long been a widower : his only child, 
Isabel, had scarcely attained lisr sixteenth year, when she became 
an object of most ardent attachment to a young gentleman of 
very violent passions, andi;he most daring nature, who had spent 
nine years of his life under the Doctor's roof, and had scarcely 
quitted it a year, when, coming of age, he entered into possession 
of a good estate, within half an hour's ride of the parsonage. 

Charles Perry, — for that was the name of IsabeFs lover, — 
had profited but little by the Doctor's instructions: wild and 
ungovernable from his boyhood, Charles, even from the time he 
entered his teens, was an object of positive terror to his father, 
who was a man of a remarkably mild and retiring disposition. 
As the youth advanced towards manhood, he grew still more 
boisterous ; and the elder Mr. Perry, incapable of enduring the 
society of his son, yet unwilling to trust him far from home, 
contrived, by threatening to disinherit him in case of disobedience, 
to keep him under Doctor Pljrmpton's care until he was nearly 
twenty years of age. At that time his father died, and Charles 
insisted upon burning his books and quitting his tutor's residence. 
On the strength of his expectations, and the known honesty of 
his heart, he immediately procured a supply of cash, and in- 
dulged his natural inclination for horses and dogs, to such an 
extent, that some of his fox-hunting neighbours lamented that 
a lad of his spirit had not ten or twenty thousand, instead o^ 
fifteen hundred a year. 

Young Perry had never been a favorite with Doctor Plympton ; 
but his conduct, after the decease of his father, was so directly op- 
posed to the worthy Doctor's ideas of propriety, that he was heaond 
to say, on one occasion, when Isabel was relating some bold 
equestrian achievement which had been recently performed by 
her lover, that he hoped to be forgiven, and shcoily to eradicate 



THB LITTLE BLACK PORTBR. 349 

the evil weed ttom his heart, but if at that moment, or ever in the 
oouXBe of his long life, he entertained an antipathy towards any 
human being, Charles Ferry was the man. It would be im- 
possible to describe the worthy Doctor's indignation and alarm, 
en hearing, a few days afterwards, that Charles had declared, in 
the presenoe of his own grooms — ^in whose society he spent a great 
portion of his time— that he meant to have Isabel Flympton, by 
hook or by crook, before Candlemas-day, let who would say nay. 

That his child, his little girl, — as he still called the handsome 
and womanly-looking Isabel — should be an object of love. Doctor 
Flympton could scarcely believe. The idea of her marrying, 
even at a mature age, and quitting his arms for those of a 
husband, had never entered his brain ; but the thought of such 
a person as Charles Perry despoiling him of his darling, quite 
destroyed his usual equanimity of temper. He wept over Isabel, 
■nd very innocently poured the whole tide of his troubles on the 
subject into her ear ; but he felt rather surprised to perceive no 
symptoms of alarm on his daughter's countenance, while he in- 
dignantly repeated youi^ Perry's threats to carry her off. In the 
course of a week, the Doctor heard, to his utter amazement, from 
a good-natured friend, that Isabel had long been aware of Charles 
Perry's attachment, and was just as willing to be run away with, 
as Charles could possibly be to run away with her. Several ex- 
pressions which fell from Isabel, during a conversation which 
he subsequently had with her on the subject, induced Doctor 
Flympton to bdieve, that his good-natured friend's information 
was perfectly correct ; and he, forthwith, concerted measures to 
frustrate young Perry's designs. 

Isabel's walks were confined within the high and almost im- 
passable boundary-walls of the parsonage grounds ; her father 
constantly carried the huge key of the entrance door in his 
pocket, and willingly submitted to the drudgery of personally 
aoswerii^ every one who rang the bell. He altogether declined 
receiving his usual visitors, axid became, at once, so attentive a 
gaoler over his lovely young prisoner, that nothing could induce 
him even to cross the road. He bribed Patty Wallis with a new 
Bible, Hervey's Meditations among the Tombs, and Young's 
Kight Thoughts^ to be a spy upon the actions of her young 
mistress ; and paid a lame thatcher two shillings a week to inspect 
the outside of the wall every night, while he did the like within, 
m order to detect any attempt that might be made at a breach. 



350 THB LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 

But Doctor Plympton derived much more effident asGostancete 
his difficult task, from a quarter to which he had never dreamed 
of looking for aid, than either his outward ally, the thatcher, or 
his domestic spy, the waiting-maid, could possihly afford him. 
Doctor Plympton had two West-Indian pupils in his house ; hofth. 
of whom were deeply smitten with the charms of Isahel, and 
equally resolved on exercising the most persevering vigilance to 
prevent the blooming young coquette, — ^who contrived to make 
each of them suspect that he held a place in her afifeetions, — ttcanni 
escaping to, or being carried off by, their ent^prising rival,' 
Charles Perry. These young gentlemen, one of whcMn was now 
nineteen years of age, and the other about six monlJis younger, 
had been Isabel's play-fellows in her childhood ; «nd Doctor 
Plympton, who seemed to be totally unconscious of their gradual 
approach towards man's estate, had as little apprehendon of 
their falling in love with Isabel, at this period, as when they 
played blindman's buff and hunt the slipper together, eigfator 
nine years before. 

Grodfrey Fairfax, the elder of the two pupils, — a vam, for- 
ward, impetuous young man, — flattered himself that Isabel was 
pleased with his attentions : he felt satisfied, nevertheless, that Ui^ 
young coquette was of an unusually capricious deposition. He 
was by no means sure that Perry had not a decided preference over 
him in her heart ; and if his rival did not already enjoy so enviable 
a superiority, he feared that the consequence of her present state 
of restraint would be a paroxysm of attachment to the individual 
of whom she was even forbidden to think. Isabel doated tm a 
frolic ; she thought nothing could be so delightful as a lt>mantie 
elopement ; and far from being unhappy at the vigilance wi^ 
which she was guarded, she lived in a state of positive blissi 
Her situation was that of a heroine ; and all her father^s precaa^ 
tions, to prevent her from passing the garden- walls, were, to her, 
sources of unspeakable satisfaction. Godfrey was perfectly ac- 
quainted with her feelings, and strongly tainted with the same 
leaven himself. He knew how much he would dare, were he in 
Charles Perry's place ; and he had good reasons for believing, 
that any successful exploit to obtain possession of her persoB) 
would be rewarded with the willing gift of young Isabel's hand. 
Charles Perry's reckless character rendered him exceedingly for- 
midable as a rival, in the affections of such a girl as Isabel 
Plympton : but what created more doubts and fears in God&e/^fl 



THE LITTLE BLACK PORTERp 351 

braist than any other circumstance, was the fact of a large New 
foiondland dog, the property of Charles Ferry, obtaining frequent 
ingress -^nobody could conceive by what means — to Doctor 
Plympton's pleasure-grounds. Godfrey suspected that a corre- 
spondence was carried on between Perry and Isabel by means of 
the dog ; and he shot at him several times, but without success. 

Of his quiet, demure, and unassuming school-fellow, George 
Wharton, Godfrey did not entertain the least degree of fear : he 
attributed Isabel's familiarity with him to' their having been 
brought up together ; for that Wharton could really love so 
giddy a girl as Isabel, he would not permit himself to believe. 
But the truth is, that George passionately doated on Isabel; 
and she, much to her satisfaction, had made herself acquainted 
with the state of his feelings towards her. She had even en- 
couraged him, by a blushing avowal that she esteemed him more 
tium any other human being, except her father ; and, in all prOf 
bability, at that moment, she uttered the genuine language of 
her heart : but, it is very certain, in less than five minutes after- 
wards, Godfrey Fairfax was on his knees before her, and kissing 
her exquisite hand, with an enthusiasm of manner, which she 
did not appear at all disposed to check. Perhaps she scarcely 
knew whom she loved best ; and trusted to accident for deter- 
mining on which of the three young men her choice should fall. 

While matters remained in this state at the parsonage, the 
day of Godfrey's departure from the house of his venerable tutor 
was fast approaching : — ^the vessel, by which he was to return 
to his native island, Demerara, had already completed her cargo, 
and nearly concluded the final preparations for her voyage. — 
Godfrey saw that no time was to be lost, if he wished to make 
Isabel JPlympton his own : he was almost constantly with her, and 
pleaded his cause with such fervour, that, by degrees, Isabel 
began to forget Charles Perry, to avoid Greorge Wharton, and 
to feel unhappy if Godfrey Fairfax were absent but for a few 
moments from her side. Godfrey knew that it would be useless 
to implore Doctor Plympton for his consent to their union : it 
would have struck the old gentleman with horror, had a pupil of 
his, — a youth of Godfrey's immense expectations, — offered to 
marry laabeL He would have spumed the proposal as a direct 
attack upon his honour; and have lost his life rather than 
suffered such a marriage to take place. It would have amounted, 
ja hia opinion, to a breach of his duty towards his employers, to 



SiS2 THB LITTLB BLACK POBTBB» 

have suffered one of his pupils to fall in love with Isabd. But, even 
if there were any hopes that Doctor Flympton would give his odn- 
sent to the match, provided Godfrey obtained that of his father, 
the young man could not delay his felicity ; nor would he run tbe 
hazard of IsabePs changing her mind, or being won by Perry, or 
even young Wharton, while he was sailing to Demerara and back 
again. Isabel, too, he was sure, would never agree to a mete 
common-place match with him, when another lover was striving', 
night and day, to run away with her ; and Godfrey, under all 
the circumstances, deemed it most prudent to carry her of^ if 
possible, without asking any body's permission but her own. 

He had made no arrangements for a legal union with Isabel ; 
his sole object was to get her out of her father's custody, and under 
his own protection. He felt assured that bis love was too sincere 
to permit him to act dishonourably towards her ; and a vague idea 
floated across his mind of carrying her on board the vessel by 
which he was to leave England, and marrying her at the capstan, 
according to the forms and usages observed at sea. The principal 
difficulty consisted in removing her beyond the walls of her 
father's pleasure-grounds. Doctor Plympton's vigilance was still 
unabated ; George Wharton, although he had scarcely spoken to 
Isabel for several days past, rarely lost sight of her for a longer 
period than half an hour ; Patty Wallis slept in her room, the 
windows of which were immensely high ; and the key of the 
door was regularly deposited under the Doctor's pillow. With a 
heavy heart Grodfrey began to pack up his clothes and books, for 
the day of his departure was at hand, — ^when the idea of convey- 
ing Isabel out of the house in his large trunk, suddenly flashed 
upon him. He flew to the young lady and communicated to her 
what he called the happy discovery ; and she, without a moment's 
hesitation, gaily agreed to his proposition, — appearing quite de« 
lighted with the idea of escaping in so mysterious and legitimately 
romantic a manner. 

Godfrey passed the remainder of the day in concealing his 
clothes and books, boring air-holes in the chest, and lining it 
with the softest materials he could procure. On the monung 
appointed for his departure, Isabel stole unperoeived up to the 
store-room, where Godfrey was anxiously waiting to receive her, 
and stepped blithely into the trunk. Within an hour after, it wai 
half a mile on the road towards Bristol, in the fly* wagon, which 
Godfrey had previously ordered to call at the parsonage for Jill 



THB UTTLB BLACK PORTER. 858 

hesTy baggage, a short time before his own intended departure. 
At lei^h the chaise, in which he was to leave the village for 
ever, drew np to the garden gate. Godfrey took a hurried leave 
of his old master and fellow student, leaped into the vehicle, and 
told the post-boy not to spare his spurs if he expected to be well 



Li less than an hour, the young gentleman alighted at the 
wagon-office. Assuming as cool and unconcerned an air as he 
possibly conld^ he observed, in a careless tone, to a clerk in the 
office, — ^ I am looking for a trunk of mine, but I do not see it : 
I suppose we must bave passed your wagon on the road." 

" All our wagons are in, sir," replied the clerk : " we don't 
expect another arrival till to-morrow morning." 

*' Oh ! very good : then my chest must be here. I hope you 
haive taken particular precautions in unloading it : I wrote 'with 
care — this side upwards,* on it, in very large letters." 

" Who was it addressed to, sir ?" 

" Why, to me, certainly ; — Godfrey Fairfax, Esquire, Dem«»- 
iiifji ** 

'« To be left at the office till caUed for ?" 

** Exactly ; — ^where is it ? Tve not much time to lose.'* 

** Why, sir, it has been gone away from here — ^* 

"Gone away I " 

''Yes, sir; »bout,-^let me see,** continued the clerk, lazily 
turning to look at the office clock ; " why, about, as near as may 
be, nine or ten, — ay, say ten, — about ten minutes ago, sir." 

'* Ten minutes ago, sir ! What do you mean P — ^Are you mad ? 
m play the devil with you I Where's my chest ? '* 

** I told you before, it was gone, sir." 

** Grone, m I How could it go, sir ? Didn't I direct it to be 
left here till called for?" 

" Very well, sir ; and so it was left here till called for : it 
stood in the office for five minutes or more, and then — " 

" And then— what then P" 

*^ Why, then, a little black porter called for it, and took it 
away with him on a truck." 

" Who was he ? — ^Where has he taken it ? — Til be the ruin of 
yon. The contents of that trunk are invaluable." 

''I suppose you didn't insure it: we don't answer for any 
thing above the value of five pounds unless it's insured ; — ^vide 
the notice on oar tickets." 



354 THS tITTLB BLACK POETSE« 

^ Don't talk to me of your tickets, but answer me, scoundiel t * 

"Scoundrel!'' 

" Where has the yillain conyeyed it ?" 

"Can't say." 

"Who was he?" 

" Don't know." 

" Distraction I How could you be such a fool as to let him 
have it?" 

"Why not?— How was I to know?— You'd think it odd if 
you was to send a porter for your chest — ^ 

"Certainly; but—" 

" Very well, then : how could I tell but what the little black 
fellow was sent by you ? — He asked for it quite correctly, accord- 
ing to the address ; and that's what we go by, of course, in these 
cases. And even now, how can I tell but what he was sent by 
the right owner, and that you're come under false pretences." 

" What, rascal ! " 

" Youll excuse me : — ^but you don't authenticate yourself, you 
know ; and Fve a right to think as I please. If we were to hold 
a tight hand on every gentleman's luggage, until he proved his 
birth, parentage, and education, why, fifty clerks couldn't get 
through the work. HI put a case : — suppose, now, you are the 
gentleman you represent yourself to be, — and, mind me, I don't 
say you are not, — ^how should you like, when you came here for 
your chest, for me to ask you for your certificate of baptism ?" 

" You drive me mad ! Can you give me no clue ? " 

" None in the world ; — ^you ought to have written to us." 

" Write to you ? — ^why should I write?" 

" Why, to warn us against giving up the goods to anybody 
except under an order, with the same signature as that in your 
letter : then even if a forgery were committed, by a comparison 
of hands — don't you see ? — ** 

" My good fellow I " interrupted the disconsolate and bewH' 
dered Grodfrey, "you know not what you've done. This is a 
horrid act : it will be the death of me ; and perhaps you may live 
to repent ever having seen this unlucky day. There was a lady 
in the chest." 

The clerk turned his large dull eyes upon Godfrey, and after 
a long and deliberate stare of wonder, exclaimed, "Dead or 
aUve?" 

"Alive; alive, I hope : — ^that is, — alive, I mean, of course.— • 



THE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 855 

Do yon take me for a body-snatcher ? If you have a spark of pity 
In your bosom, you will put me in the way of tracing the villain 
who has inflicted these agonies upon me. What can I do ?" 

•* Why, if there's a lady in the case — " 

•* There is, I declare ; — ^I solemnly protest there is.** 

"Young or old?" 

** Young — young, to be sure.** 

" Why, then, J think you ought to lose no time.** 

" Pshaw ! I know that well enough." 

" If I were you, I should be off directly." 

** Off! — S*death, man I you enrage me. What do you mean 
by •be off?'" 

" Why, off after him, to be sure.*' 

"Which way did he go?" 

•« Ah 1 there Fm at fault.** 

Godfrey could bear no more : — he rushed out of the office, 
hallooed " Porter ! ** five or six times, and, in a few seconds, half« 
a-dozen knights of the knot were advancing, from different comers 
of the inn yard, towards him. " My good fellows," said he, " did 
any of you see a little black fellow taking a large trunk or chest 
fixmi the office, on a truck, this morning ? " 

Two of them had seen the little black man, but they did not 
recollect in what direction he went after quitting the yard. 

" How dreadfully provoking ! ** exclaimed Godfrey : *' My only 
course is to ransack every street — every comer, in quest of him, 
m give ten guineas to any one who will discover the wretch. 
Away with you at once ; — ^bring all the black porters you know 
or meet with, to the office ; and, perhaps, the clerk may identify 
the rascal among them. Fve been robbed t— do you hear?-^ 
robbed—** 

" And there's a lady in the case,'* said the clerk, from the 
threshold of the office-door, where he stood, carefully mbbing a 
pen ; " a mistake has occurred, it seems ; and though it*s no fault 
of ours, we should be glad to see the matter set to rights : there- 
fore, my lads, look sharp, and the gentleman, I*ve no doubt, will 
oome down handsomely. I think I've seen the little black rascal 
before, and Pm pretty certain I should know him again : if I 
shouldn't, Ikey Pope would, I reckon ; for he helped him to put 
the chest on the truck.** 

"And where is Ikey, as you call him?** -eagerly inquired 
Godfrey. 



356 THE LITTLB BLACK PORTER. 

"He's asleep again, I suppose, among the luggage. — ^Ik^I 
—You see, he's got to sit up for the wagons at night, and never 
has his regular rest. He's like a dog — ^Ikey ! — like a dog that 
turns round three times, and so makes his bed anywhere. — Ikey ! " 

A short, muscular, dirty-looking fellow now raised his head 
from among the packages which lay in the yard, and without 
opening his eyes, signified that he was awake, by growling forth 
"Well, what now?" 

" Ikey," said the clerk, ** didn't you help a porter to load a 
truck with a large chest, some little time ago P" 

" Yes." 

" Should you know him again ? " 

" No ! " replied Ikey, and his head disappeared behind a laige 
package as he spoke. 

" Well, there's no time to lose, comrades," said one of the 
porters : " wiU the gentleman pay us for our time if we don't 
succeed?" 

" Oh ! of course," replied the clerk ; " away with you ! " 

The porters immediately departed in different directions ; and 
Grodfrey, after pacing the yard for a few minutes, in great an- 
guish of mind, sallied forth himself in quest of the little black 
porter. Afler running through some of the adjacent streets, and 
despatching another half-dozen porters, whom he found standing 
round the door of an inn, to seek for the fellow w;ho had so mys- 
teriously borne away "his casket with its precious pearl," he 
hastened back to the wagon-office, hoping that some of his emis- 
saries might have brought in the little black porter during his 
absence. None of them, however, had yet returned. Godfrey, 
half frantic, ran off again : and after half an hour's absence, he 
retraced his steps towards the wagon-office. 

"Well, sir," said the clerk, in his usual slow and solemn 
tone, as Godfrey entered, " I have had three or four of them 
back ; and they've brought and sent in half-a-score of black por- 
ters, occasional waiters, valets out of place, journeymen chair- 
men, et cetera, and so forth ; but, unfortunately — ** 

" The little delinquent was not among them, I suppose." 

" No, nor any one like him : but Fll tell you what I did — ^ 

" Speak quicker : — consider my impatience. Did you employ 
them all to hunt out the villain ?" 

" Why, it was a bold step, perhaps ; but—" 

" Did you, or did you not ?" 



THE LITTLE BLACK PORTEB. S57 

••IdicL" 

'' A thousand thanks !— FU he off again.** 

" But, I say, sir ; — ^you'll excuse me ; — ^now, if I were you, 
ril just tell you what Td do." 

" Well, my dear friend, what ? — quick — what ? " 

^ Why, rd roust out Ikey Pope. He's the man to heat np 
your game." 

^^ What I the fellow who answers without unclosing his eye- 
lids?" 

^*' Why, to say the truth, he don*t much like daylight. No- 
hody sees the colour of his eye, I reckon, above once a week ; 
hut, for ail that, there's few can match him. He*s more like a 
dog than a Christian. He'll find what every body else has lost ; 
hut upon what principle he works, I can't say : I think he does 
it all by instinct." 

'' Let us send him out at once, then." 

^* Not so fast, sir : — ^Ikey's next kin to a brute, and must be 
treated accordingly. We must manage him." 

" Well, you know him, and — " 

^ Yes, and he knows me : I have condescended to play so 
many tricks with him, that he won't trust me : but he'll believe 
yoM." 

'^And how shall I enlist him in my service? I stand on 
thorns : — for Heaven's sake be speedy." 

*^ Why, if you only tell him he has a good leg for a boot, and 
promise him an old pair of Hessians, he's your humble servant to 
command ; for, ugly as he is, he's so proud of his 1^, that — " 

*' Call him ;^-call him, at once." 

The clerk now roused Ikey, and, with considerable difficulty, 
induced him to leave his hard and comfortless dormitory. 

'^ The gentleman has a job for you," said the clerk, as Ikey 
staggered towards young Fairfax. 

" I don't want no jobs," muttered Ikey. " Saturday night 
comes often enough for me. Seven-and-twenty wagons a- week, 
out and in, in the way of work, and half-a-guinea a-week, in the 
way of wages, is as much as I can manage." 

" Ikey is very temperate, sir," said the clerk ; " very tem- 
perate, I must allow ; — he eats little and drinks less : he keeps 
Qp his flesh by sleeping, and sucking his thumbs." 

^ Ah I you will have your joke," said Ikey, turning towards 
the heap of luggage again. 



358 TBI LITTLE BLACK POBTBA. 

** And won't you earn a sliilling or two, Ikey ? '* said the derk. 

'^ No ; Tm an independent man : I have as much work as I 
can do, and as much wages as I want. I wish you wouldn't wake 
me, when there's no wagon ; — ^how should you like it ?" 

^^ Well, hut, friend Pope,'* said Godfrey, '^ as you wiU not take 
money, perhaps you'll he generous enough to do a gentleman a 
fiiTOur. I shall he happy to make you some acceptable little pre- 
sent — ^keepsake, I mean — ^in return. I've an old pair of Hessians, 
— and, as I think our legs are about of a size — ^" 

^* Of a size ! " said Ikey, fia^cing about towards young Fair&x, 
and, for the first time, unclosing his heavy lids ; '* of a size!** 
repeated he, a second time, casting a critical glance on Godfrey's 
leg ; "I can hardly think that." 

Ikey dropped on one knee, and, without uttering a word, pro- 
ceeded to measure Grodfrey's calves with his huge, hard hands. 
He then rose, and rather dogmatically observed, ** The gentle- 
man has got a goodish sort of a leg ; but,** continued he, *' his 
calves don't travel in flush enough with one another exactly : he 
couldn't hold a sixpence between his ancles, the middle of his 
legs, and his knees, as a person Tm acquainted with can, when 
he likes to turn his toes out : — ^but I think your boots might fit 



me, sir.*' 



" Tm sure they will,'* cried the impatient Godfrey ; " and you 
shall have them.** 

** Your hand, then ;— it*s a bargain,** quoth Ikey, thrusting 
out his fist, and striking a heavy blow in the centre of Godfrey's 
palm. " Now, what's the job ? '* 

Godfrey rapidly stated his case, and, with all the eloquence 
he possessed, endeavoured to stimulate the drowsy fellow, on 
whom his chief hopes now depended, to a state of activity. Ikey 
listened to him, with closed eyes, and did not seem to compre- 
hend a tythe of what he heard. When Godfrey had concluded, 
he merely observed, ** I'U have a shy !" and staggered out of the 
yard, more like a drunkard reeling home from a debauch, than 
a man despatched to find out an unknown individual in the heart 
of a busy and populous city. 

" The William and Mary, by which I was to sail, lies at King- 
road," said Godfrey to the clerk, as Ikey Pope departed ; *' the 
wind, I perceive, is fair, and sail she will, this evening, without 
a doubt. Unfortunate fellow that I am I — every moment is an 
age to me." 



THE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 859 

** Perhaps you'd like to sit down in the office,'* said the clerk ; 
'* I can offer jou a seat and yesterday's paper." 

" Thank you, thank you I " replied Godfrey ; " but I fear pur- 
suit, too :— I cannot rest here.'* 

The young man again walked into the streets : he inquired of 
almost every person he met, for the little black porter ; but no 
one could give him any information. At last, a crowd began 
to gather around him, and he was, with very little ceremony, 
unanimously voted a lunatic. Two or three fellows bad even 
approached to lay hands on him, when his eye suddenly en- 
countered that of Ikey Pope : breaking through the crowd at 
once, he hurried back, with Ikey, to the wagon-office. 

" Fve won the boots,** said Ikey, as they entered the yard. 

" Which way ? — ^how ? — ^Have you seen him ? — ^Where is he ? " 
eagerly inquiwd Godfrey. 

"I can't make out where he is," replied Ikey; "but I hap- 
pened to drop into the house where he smokes his pipe, and there 
I heard the whole yam. He brought the chest there.'* 

"Where?— where?" 

« Why, to the Dog and Dolphin." 

"I'U fly—" 

" Oh ! it's of no use : the landlord says it was carried away 
again, by a pair of Pill-sharks ; who, from what I can get out of 
him and his people, had orders to take it down the river, and 
put it aboard the William and Mary, what's now lying in Eling- 
Toad, bound for Demerary." 

" Oh ! then, I dare say it's all a mistake, and no roguery's in- 
tended," said the clerk, who had heard Ikey's statement : " the 
person found he was vnrong, and, to make amends, has duly for- 
warded the trunk, pursuant to the direction on its cover." 

" A chaise and four to Lamplighter's Hall, instantly ! " shouted 
Godfrey. 

♦* First and second turn, pull out your tits," cried the ostler : 
** put to, while I fill up a ticket." 

♦' Are you going, sir ?" said Ikey, to young Fairfax. 

** On the wings of love," replied Godfrey. 

** But the boots ! " 

•*AhI true. There, — ^there's a five pound note, — ^buy the best 
pair of Hessians you can get." 

*» What about the change ? " 

^ Keep it ; — or, oddso ! yes,— distribute it among the porten ; 



360 THE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 

and be sure, Ikey, if ever I return to England, Pll make jom 
fortune : Td do it now, but I really hayen*t time." 

In a few minuteB, Godfrey was seated in a chaise, behind four 
excellent horses, and dashing along, at full speed, toward's Lamp- 
lighter's Hall. On his arrival at that place, he found, to his 
utter dismay, that the William and Mary had already set saQ. 
After some little delay — during which he ascertained diat his 
trunk had positively been carried on board — Godfrey procured a 
pilot-boat ; the master of which undertook to do all that lay in 
the power of man to overtake the vesseL After two hours of 
intense anxiety, the pilot informed God&ey, that, if the wind 
did not get up before sunset, he felt pretty sure of success. Far 
beyond the Holms, and just as the breeze was growing brisk, 
Godfrey, to his unspeakable joy, reached the deck of the William 
and Mary. The pilot immediately dropped astern ; and, as soon 
as Godfrey could find utterance, he inquired for his trunk. It 
had already been so /ecurely stowed away in the hold, that, as 
Godfrey was informed, it could not be hoisted on deck in less 
than half an hour. The impatient youth entreated that not a mo- 
ment might be lost ; and, in a short time, five or six of the crew, 
with apparent alacrity, but real reluctance, set about what they 
considered the useless task of getting the trunk out of the snug 
berth in which they had placed it. 

It is now necessary for us to take up another thread of our 
story ; for which purpose, we must return to that point of time 
when the wagon, which contained Grodfrey*s precious chest, 
slowly disappeared behind the brow of a hill, at the foot of which 
stood the worthy Doctor's residence. Patty WaUis, Isabel's maid 
and bosom friend, had, for some time past, been bought over to 
the interest of Charles Perry, to whom she communicated every 
transaction of importance that occurred in the house. On that 
eventful morning, she had acquainted Perry with Godfrey's plan, 
— ^the particulars of which her young mistress had confided to her, 
under a solenm pledge of secresy, — ^and Perry, from behind the 
hedge of an orchard, nearly opposite the Doctor's house, beheld 
young Fairfax consign his trunk to the care of the wagoners. 
Godfrey entered the house, as the heavy vehicle turned the sum- 
mit of the hill ; and Charles Perry immediately retreated from 
his place of concealment, to join his trusty groom, Doncaster 
Dick, who was waiting for him, with a pair of saddle horses, in 
a neighbouring lane. 



THE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 361 

^ YouVe marked the game, Til lay guineas to pounds I ** ex- 
claimed Dick, as Charles approached. ^^ Tm sure Tm right ; — I 
can see it by your eyes. Guineas to pounds, did I say ? — Vd go 
tax to four, up to any figure, on it." 

" I wish you'd a thousand or two on the event, Dick," re- 
plied Charles Ferry, exultingly ; *' you'd haye a safe book at any 
odds." 

" Well I I always thought how it would be : if there was fifty 
entered for the young lady, you'd be my first favourite ; because 
for why ? — ^as Tve said scores of times, — ^if you couldn't beat 'em 
out and out, you'd jockey them to the wrong side of the post." 

" I hope you've not been fool enough to let any one know of 
Godfrey's scheme, or of my being acquainted with it : — 'brush' 
is the word, if you have." 

" rd lay a new hat, sir, if the truth was known, you don't 
suspect me. You're pretty sure I'm not noodle enough to open 
upon the scent in a poaching party : I was bom in Bristol and 
brought up at Doncaster to very little purpose, if ever I should 
be sent to heel for that fault. But won't you mount, sir ? " 

" Tm thinking, Dick," said Perry, who stood with one foot on 
the ground and the other in the stirrup ; — " Pm thinking you had 
better push on by yourself, in order to avoid suspicion. Yes, 
that's the plan : — ^take the high road, and Pll have a steeple-chase 
run of it across the country. Make the best of your way to old 
Harry Tuffin's ; put up the horse, watch for the wagon, and, as 
soon as it arrives, send a porter, who doesn't know you, to fetch 
the trunk : — ^you know how it's directed." 
*' But where am I to — ^" 

** Have it brought to Tufiin's : — ^bespeak a private room, at the 
back part of the house ; and order a chaise and four to be ready, 
at a moment's notice." 

** But suppose, sir. Miss should be rusty?" 
** Pm sure she loves me, Dick, let them say what they will : 
she wouldn't have attempted to run away with this young Creole 
fellow, if she thought there was any chance of having me. Be- 
sides, what can she do ? — her reputation, Dick, — consider that * 
but Pm talking Greek to you. Be off— get the trunk to Tuffin's.'* 
**And a thousand to three she's yours; — that's what you 
mean, sir," said Dick, touching his hat to Perry, as he turned his 
horse's head towards the high road. In a few moments he was 
out of sight, and Charles set off, at a brisk pace, down the lane. 

2 A 



S62 THl LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 

On his aniyal «t Tuffin's, Feny found his trusty serrant 
engaged in deep conversatioix, ft few paces firom the door, with a 
•hort, muscular, hlack man, whose attire was scrupulously neat, 
although patched in several places; his shoes were very well 
polished; his neckerchief was coarse, but white as snow;, he 
w<»e a laige silver ring on the little finger of his left hand ; his 
hair was tied behind with great neatness ; he had a porter's knot 
hanging on his arm : and, as Perry approached, he drew a small 
tin box from his waistcoat pockot, and took snuff with the air of 
a finished coxcomb. 

" Is this the porter youVe engaged, Dick ?" inquired Perry. 

*• I couldn't meet with another," replied Dick, " besides, sir, 
he*s not objectionable, I think ; — ^he talks like a parson." 

" But he's too old for the weight, Dick, Pm afraid. What's 
your age, friend ?" 

^*A rude question, as some would say," replied the porter, 
with a smile and a bow ; '^ but Ceesar Devalle is not a coy young 
beauty." 

" So I perceive, Caesar, — ^if that's your name." 

** You do me great honour," said the porter, " and Pm bound 
to venerate you, Mister — ^what shall I say ? No offence ; — ^but 
mutual confidence is the link of society. I am so far of that 
opinion, that I can boast of seven lovely children; and Mrs. 
Devalle, although full two-and-thirty when I took her in hand, 
already dances divinely : indeed, I can now sately confide to her 
the instruction of our infant progeny in the first rudiments of 
Terpsichore, — ^graceful maid ! — while I teach my eldest boys the 
violin and shaving. We must get our bread as well as worship 
the muses, you know ; for teeth were not given for nothing." 

" Noy certainly," observed Dick ; " we know an animal's age 
by 'em : — ^what's yours ?" 

" In round numbers — ^fifty." 

"I fear, my learned friend," said Perry, "you are scarcely 
strong enough for my purpose." 

" I am not equal to Hercules," replied the porter ; " but I pos- 
sess what that great man never did, — namely, a truck. . I have 
often thought what wonders Hercules would have done, if some- 
body had made him a present of two or three trifles which we 
modems almost despise. Life, you know, is short, and therefore 
machinery is esteemed : consequently, ' to bear and forbear' is my 
motto ; for nobody can see the bottom of the briny waves." 



TaS LtTTLB BLACK POSTER. 963 

**Toa are rather out at elbows in your logic, Cesar,** said 
Perry ; " and your motto seems to me to be a non sequitur c-^hut 
you read, I perceive." 

** Yes, when my numerous occupations permit me, — ^for spec- 
tacles are cheap : but I find numerous faults with the doctrine 
of chances ; and those who pretend to see through a millstone, in 
my opinion*—" 

" Keep your eye up the street," Dick, interrupted Charles, 
turning from the Little Black Porter to his servant ; " the wagon 
must be near at hand, by this time. Allow me to ask you, 
friend," continued he, again addressing Csesar Devalle, " are you 
a regular porter ?" 

" Why, truly," replied Devalle, " the winds and the weather 
preach such doctrine to us, that I occasionally shave and give 
lessons on the violin. All nature is continually shifting ; — ^why, 
then, should man be constant, except to his wife ? Night suc- 
ceeds the day, and darkness, light ; and I certainly prefer 
practising a cotillon with a pupil, even if she's barefooted, to 
shouldering the knot. My terms are very moderate : but some 
people think ability lies only skin deep ; to which class you, sir, 
certainly do not belong ; — that is, if I know anything of a well- 
cut coat." 

The Little Black Porter now retired, bowing and grinning, 
to a little distance, leaving Charles with his servant. 

" ril lay a pony, sir," said Dick, " the wagon isn't here this 
half-hour." 

" Ridiculous ! " exclaimed Perry. Dick, however, was right ; 
forty minutes elapsed before the bells on the horses' heads were 
heard. In another half-hour, Godfrey's trunk, by the exertions 
of Perry, Dick, and the Little Black Porter, was removed from 
the truck on which Caesar had brought it from the wagon-office, 
and triumphantly deposited on the floor of a back room in old 
Tuffin's house. 

Trembling with joy, Charles Perry immediately proceeded to 
sever the cords. Leaving him occupied with that " delightful 
task," we shall take leave to carry the reader back again to the 
residence of Doctor Plympton. 

It has already been stated that young Isabel stepped gaily into 
the chest. She continued to laugh, and actually enjoyed the 
novelty of her situation, for a few seconds after Godfrey Fairfax 
had closed the lid. But her courage began to sink, from the 

2 A 2 



364 THE LITTLE BLACK POSTER. 

moment she Beard the l)olt of the lock shot, with a noise, that 
seemed to her at once portentous and prodigious : she evesL 
uttered a faint scream ; hut her pride mastered her weakness in 
an instant, and her exclamation of alarm terminated in her usual 
apparently joyous, hut, perhaps, heartless laugh. Grodf^ey, much 
to his delight, heard her tittering, during the short period he waa 
occupied in securely cording up the trunk. ** Now, my dear little 
heroine/' whispered he, through the key-hole, as he fastened the 
last knot, '^ keep up your spirits ; let the delightful thought of 
our early meeting, and years of subsequent bliss, support you 
through this trifling ordeal. Hemember, I — mark me, Isabel ! — 
I, who love you better than any other living creature does — 1^ 
who deem you the greatest treasure on earth, — I say you are 
quite safe. Do not forget that my happiness or misery are at the 
mercy of your courage and patience. I hear some one coming. 
— Adieu ! — Au revoir, my love !" 

Godfrey now left the room, and contrived to decoy Doctor 
Flympton, whom he met in the passage, down stairs to the study, 
where he amused the old gentleman, by some plausible detail of 
his future intentions with regard to mathematics and the dead 
languages, until the arrival of the wagon by which the trunk was 
to be conveyed to town. 

Meantime, an event of considerable importance took place in 
the store-room. Isabel had made no reply to Godfrey's adieu ; 
for the idea that she was so soon to be left alone, entirely deprived 
her of utterance ; and, as the sound of his footsteps died away 
on her ear, she began to grow not only weary but terrified. 
Though incapable of judging of the real dangers of her situation, 
and blind to the impropriety of her conduct, her spirits were wo- 
folly depressed by imaginary terrors, which, however, were not, 
for a short period, sufficiently powerful to render her insensible to 
the personal inconvenience which she suffered. She thought of 
Juliet in the tomb, and felt sure, that were she to fall asleep, she 
should go mad in the first few moments after waking, under the 
idea that she was in her coffin, and had been buried alive. Her 
courage and pride completely deserted her : she moaned piteously, 
and her senses began to be affected. Luckily for her, perhaps, 
George Wharton, having nothing else to do, sauntered into the 
store-room, to see if Godfrey had finished packing up. He was 
not a little surprised to hear the voice of one in deep affliction 
proceed from the chest. After a moment's hesitation, during 



THS LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 965 

wbkh he almost doubted the evidence of hia ears, he knocked on 
the lid, and inquired if any one were within. It is almost need- 
less to say, that the reply was in the affirmative. 

♦* What trick is this ? " exclauned George. " Who is it ? " 

*' Oh I dear Mr. Wharton I pray let me out," cried Isabel. 

" Good Heavens I Isabel ! — I'll fly for assistance." 

** No ; not for worlds ! I could not wait for it. Cut the cords 
«iid break open the chest this moment, or I shall die." 

With the aid of a pocket-knife and the poker, George soon 
emancipated Isabel from her place of ccmfinement. Pale and 
sobbing, she sank into his arms, and vowed eternal gratitude to 
her kind deliverer, whom, she said, notwithstanding appearances, 
she loved better than any other being in existence. 

" If so," said George, very naturally, " why do I find you in 
Godfrey's chest ? " 

" Don't I confess that appearances are against me ?" exclaimed 
Isabel, pettishly ; " what more would you have P " 

'^ I am not unreasonable, Isabel : but I shall certainly talk to 
Mr. Fairfax, on this subject, before he leaves the house ; — on 
that, I am resolved." 

^ No doubt you are ; or to do anything else that you think 
will vex me." 

*' Nay, Isabel, you are too severe.*' 

*' Indeed," said Isabel, " I am quite the contrary : it is nothing 
but the excess of my foolish good-nature that has led me into this 
disagreeable situation. My frolic has cost me dear enough. That 
horrid Godfrey ! " 

'' His conduct is atrocious ; and I shall immediately mentioii 
it to the Doctor." 

" My father would rate him soundly for it, I know ; and he 
richly deserves a very long lecture : but * forget and forgive,' 
Greorge, has always been your motto, and I think I shall make it 
mine. Grodfrey has been our companion for years ; and it would 
be useless to make mischief, for a trifle, at the moment of his 
leaving us ; 'twere better, by far, to part friends. Besides, after 
all, poor fellow, one can scarcely blame him," added Isabel, with 
a smile, as her eye caught the reflection of her beautiful features 
in an old looking-glass ; " even you, George, who are such an 
ley-hearted creature, say you would go through fire and water to 
possess me ; and no wonder that such a high-sfMrited fellow as 
Godfrey—" 



366 THE LITTLE BLACK POBTBS. 

** I feel rather inclined, Miss Plympton," intornipted Gearge^ 
'* to shew that my spirit is quite as high as his." 

*' Then be noble, George, and don't notice what has happened* 
It's entirely your own fault : you know his ardour,*-4bis magical 
mode of persuading one almost out of one's sober senses, and yoA 
you never can contrive to be in the way." 

** My feelings, Isabel, are too ddio«te to^** 

** Well, then, you must pat up with the consequences. I am 
sure that some people, even if one don't like tib«m much, influence 
one to be more complaisant to them, than to others whom one 
really loves ; because others will not condescend to be attentive^ 
But, come, — ^pray don't look so grave : I am sure I was nearly 
fHghtened out of my wits just now, «nd I don't look half so 
sorrowful aa you ; although, I protest, I haven't recovered yet. 
What are you thinking of ?" 

*^ I am thinking, Isabel," replied George, ^*- that, after all, I 
had better speak to Godfrey ; for, if I do not, when he disooT^:^ 
what has happened, he will certainly accuse me of the singolar 
crime of stealing his sweetheart out of his box." 

*^ Well, that's true enough : but we must ccmtrive to avoid an 
eclaircissement. As the trunk is not perceptibly damaged, sup« 
pose you fasten it up again with the cords ; and, by way of % 
joke, to make it of a proper weight, put in young Squire Perry's 
dog as my substitute. Godfrey vowed to kill him, you know» 
before he left us ; and he did so, not above an hour agoi, while 
the horrid creature was in the act of worrying my poor little 
Beaufidel. Godfrey said he should leave him, as a legacy, in the 
back-yard, for you to bury and bear the blame." 

"I must confess," said Wharton, "it would be a pleasanl 
retaliation : I certainly should enjoy it*" 

" Then fly at once down the bade stairs for the creature : do« 
body will see you : — ^go." 

** Will you remain h^rc?" 

" Fie, George ! Do you think I ooiald endure the sight of thd 
shocking animal ?" 

" Well, well ; — but will you see Godfrey again ? " 

" Certainly not : I shall keep out of the way. It is arranged 
that he shall say I have the head-ache, and am gone to my room ^ 
so he'll insist upon waiving my appearance at his departure* Do 
as I tell you, my dear George, and we shall get rid of him dfi* 
lightfuUy." 



THS UTTLE BLACK PORTER. 367 

. Inbel DOW tripped lightly a^ay to her little boudoir, where 
she was secure from intrumou ; and Wharton proceeded to earry 
her. ideas into exeoution with such unusual alacrity, that he had 
achieved his object long before the arrival of the wagon. He 
asnsted in bringing the trunk down stairs ; but his gravity was so 
much disturbed, by the very striet injunctions which Godfrey gave 
the wagoners to be more than usually careful with his property, 
that, for fear of betraying himself, he was compelled to make a 
precipitate retreat into the house. As soon as he was out of the 
heariiig of his young rival, he indulged in an immoderate fit of 
laughter, which was echoed by Isabel, who, peeping through the 
window of her apartment, heartily enjoyed the anxiety which 
Gfod£rey, by his looks, appeared to feel for the safety of his chest 
and its precious contents. She kept out of sight until young 
Fairfax had departed ; when Fatty Wallis was struck speechless, 
for nearly a minute, at being summoned by Isabel in person, to 
dress her for dinner. 

The indignation and amazement of Charles Ferry, on seeing 
his own dead dog in the trunk, where he had expected to find the 
fillr form of the blooming and lively Isabel Flympton, may easily 
be imagined. His first emotions of wonder at the sight were 
quickly succeeded by the deepest regret for the death of his fa- 
Tourite dog : but his sorrow for the animal was suddenly extin- 
guished by a most painful feeling of mortification, at having been 
so egregiously duped : at last, rage, — violent and ungovernable 
rage, seemed to master ail other passions in his bosom. He 
raved like a Bedlamite, beat his forehead, tore his hair, stamped 
up and down the room, vowed to sacrifice, not only young Fairfax, 
Patty Wallia, Doctor Flympton, but even Doncaster Dick him- 
self; and when his excitement had reached its highest pitch, he 
tififced the dead dog out of the chest, and hurled it, with all his 
might, at the head of Caesar Devalle. The force of the blow 
threw the Little Black Forter on the floor, where he lay with the 
dog sprawling upon hsm ; and his grimaces, and exclamations for 
rescue from the animal, appeared so exceedingly ludicrous to 
Charles Ferry, that the young g^itleman burst out into a violent 
and uneontroElable fit of laughter, in which he was most readily 
joined by Doncaster Dick. 

Long before the merximent of either master or man had sub- 
sided, Caesar contrived to extricate himself from the dog ; and 
after adjusting his disordered cravat, began to express his deep 



368 THE LITTLE BLACK POETSR. 

indignation at the insnlt he had sufifered. He intimated^ bi a 
tone tremnloua with agitation, but in rather choice terms, liiat he 
should be quite delighted to know by what law or custom any 
person waa authorized to hurl the corpse of a huge mastiff at the 
head of a citizen of the world ; and why the alarming posifioii eC 
an inoffensire &ther of seven children, struggling to escape from 
an animal, which might, for aught he knew, be alive and rabid, 
should exhilarate any gentleman, whose parents or guardians 
were not cannibals ; or any groom, except a Centaur. ** If we 
are to be treated in this way,*' pursued he, "• where is the txse of 
tying our hair ? — ^We may as well go about like logs in a stream, 
if gentlemen know nothing of hydrophobia, or the philosophy of 
the human heart. Even the brute creation teaches us many of 
our social duties : the cat washes her face, and even the dudk 
smooths her feathers, in order that she may be known on the 
pond for what she is : but if a man is to embellish his exterior, 
— if we are to display the character of our minds by outward 
appearances, and yet be thrown at, for sport, like coc^s on a 
Shrove Tuesday, — why, to speak plainly, the Ganges may as well 
be turned into a tea-pot, and the Arabian deserts be covered wit& 
Witney blankets." 

" The short and the long of it is," said Dick, "he means, sir, 
that we ought to know, lookye, as how a man who ties his cravat 
in a small rosette, and shews a bit of frill, don't give or take 
horse-play. That's my translation of his rigmarole, and Til hsy 
a crown it's a true one." 

" I suspect it is," said Perry, " and Tm sorry, porter, that — ^** 

"Not a word more," interrupted Caesar, again suffering hig 
features to relax from their state of grave restraint into his 
habitual smile; — "not a word more, I insist: to evince a dis* 
position to make an ample apology, is quite satis£u!tory &om one 
gentleman to a — ^to a — ^* 

" To another, you would say," said Charles. 

" You honour me vastly by this condescension, sir $ and if ever 
I compose another cotillon, or Mrs. Devalle presents me with an 
eighth pledge of our affection, your name shall certainly be made 
use of. Gratitude is implanted even in stocks and stones ; and 
th^ acorn that is only half munched by swine, grows into an oak, 
and, centuries after, becomes a ship, in which our celebrated 
breed of pigs is carried to the four quarters of the world. Even my 
namesake Ceesar, the Boman, and Hannibal, the Carthagiman"— *^. 



THE UTTLB BLACK POBTEB. 869 

**Ezaetl J,-— exactly so,** said Feny, tarning on his heel and 
Dicing his lip, as the reeollection of the trick which had been 
pl«y«d upon him again flashed across his mind. 

^I beg pardon,** said Cvsar, following him; ^*I don*t think 
ywi fcwesaw, precisely—" 

"Well, what were you going to say?** inquired Charies, in a 
tone of impatience. 

"I was about to propose, that we should drown all future 
animosity in a bumper ;— that is, if you would honour so humble 
a member of society as Geesar Devalle, by ordering the liquor. 
Shall I execute your commands ?** 

'' Dick, get some brandy : — ^I could drink a glass myself.** 

^m step for a pint or so,** quoth Csesar; **I am fond of 
motion : it exemplifies the living principle, and — " 

^No more of your observations, but begone,** intermpted 
Charles. Devalle made a low bow, and immediately left the 
room. " The fellow*s a fool,** continued Charles, as the Little 
Biack Porter closed the door. " What say you, Dick, to all this P" 

"Why, sir,** replied Dick, "I don*t like to be over positive; 
but, to me, it looks rather like a pretty kettle of fish. Moreover, 
ril lay a year*s perquisites to half a pound, that Mr. Caesar, the 
porter, is more rogue than ninny.*' 

" What do you mean f Why do you wink in that manner ? ** 

"Ah! I never winks without there's a notion or two in my 
head. A sensible horse don*t throw his ears forward, unless 
there's something in the wind he thinks may be worth looking 
at. I can*t make out which way we*ve been jockied in this form. 
Where lies the fault, sir ? — that*s what I want to know. Who 
pat the dog in the box ? I wish any one would answer that 
simple question.** 

" So do I, Didc, with all my heart.*' 

" Well, then, it*s clear there*s a screw loose somewhere. Til 
lay my leg it don*t lie with little Patty. — Then where can it ?'* 

** Ay, that's the point, Dick.** 

"Why, then, if Pm any judge, this little porter isn't two* 
penee halfpenny better than he should be. He was a long while 
going for the trunk, you*ll recollect : and when I told him that 
it was directed to Godfrey Fairfax, Esquire, 'Ay, ay!' says 
he, taking the words out of my mouth, ' Godfrey Fairfax, 
Esquire, of Demerary.' It did'nt strike me, then ; but it seems 
nther oddish to me, now; and, in my mind, all the rogueiy 



870 THE LITTLE BLACK POSTBB^ 

ivBs done 'tvrixt here and the wagon-office : Til bet a guinea it 



ft 



^ £gad, Dick ! you're generally right ; and there seems 
probability. But how shall we act ?** 

'* Why, sir, I reconunend that we should make him drunk^ 
and pump him." 

*^But, suppose his head should prove too hard for ours, Dick.** 

«* Never fear that, sir ; TU ring the changes, so that he shall do 
double duty.*' 

** You forget, Dick, that all this time he may be making his 
escape. Run down stairs and look after him.** 

Dick walked to the door, but returned without opening it. 
*'I hear his hoof on the stairs, sir,** said he: '^eharp*8 the 
word.** 

The Little Black Porter now entered the room, followed by a 
waiter with a decanter of brandy and three glasses. Bumpers 
were immediately filled, and the Little Black P<^ter smd Dick 
drank young Perry*s health : Charles then emptied his glass ; more 
liquor was poured out, the Little Black Porter began to talk, and, 
in a very short time, the contents of the decanter were consider- 
ably diminished. Devalle drank, alternately, and it must be 
confessed, *^ nothing loath,** to Dick and his master; and the 
groom, with much ingenuity, contrived to make him swallow at 
least thrice the quantity that either he or young Perry took. 
Ciesar*s eyes gradually grew bright; a slight stutter was par-« 
ceptible in his speech ; he unnecessarily used words of considerable 
length ; and spoke familiarly of persons fant above his own station 
in life. 

" You seem to be acquainted with nearly all the residents of 
this neighbourhood,** said Charles, drawing the Little Black Porter 
to a window ; " can you inform me who lives in yonder old brick 
house, the window-shutters of which always appear closed ?** 

"The owner, sir,*' replied Csesar, "is an opulent merchant; 
old and whimsical, — ^but age will hav« its errors ; if not, why do 
we prop a tottering castle, and patch shoes ? Nothing is incom* 
prehensible if we adopt the doctrine of analogy; which, aa more 
than one great writer observes, is an irrefragable proof that man 
is endowed with reasoning powers. The gentleman, whose house 
you now see, sir, sleeps by day, and dines at midnight* Far be 
it from me to say that he is wrong : there are quite enough ef 
ua.to dance attendance on the sun ; why should not Luna hsve 



TBE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 371 

kervotttriet? There's no act of parliament to make maa fall 
asleep at eleven precisely ; Spitzbergen does not lie under the 
tn){MGs, yoo know ; and, perhaps, if I had my choice^ — ^for flesh 
is grass, — I should prefer that latitude where it is three months 
day and three months night/* 

" And why so, Caesar ? " 

** Why, I need not tell you there*i some difference between 
a rhinoceros and a sugar-cane ; and, accordingly, I, for one, 
seldom or ever want to go to sleep, except when under the influ- 
ence of a more cheerful cup than I usually take ; in fact, when 
Pm in a state of inebriation, which rarely occurs, — ^for many 
mole-hilk go to a mountain. But, on the other hand, when I do 
sleep, — so lovely is nature I — ^that I never should wake, for three 
months at least, I suspect, — ^though, of course, I never tried the 
eaqperiment, — if Mrs. Devalle did not deluge me with soap-suds. 
I am told that soap contains alkali ; and alkali, to some consti- 
ttttioos, is wholesome ;— for fire, you know, will roast an ox ; — ^and 
the custom of bears retiring into winter quarters, meets with my 
wannest approbation." 

Before Perry and Caesar returned to the table, Doncaster Dick 
had secretly procured a fresh supply of brandy; with which 
Charles plied the Little Black Porter so vigorously, that Caesar was 
800B pronounced by Dick to be sufficiently intoxicated for their 
purpose. Young Perry and the groom then began to draw Csesar's 
attention to the dog ; and endeavoured, by dint of wheedling, 
threats, and promises, to elicit from him what had taken place, 
with regard to the trunk while it was in his possession : but, as 
the porter had nothing to confess, all their attempts, of course, 
fcoved ineffectual ; and Caesar, at last, dropped his head on his 
i^Mmlder, and sank into a profound sleep. 

'* We have overdone it, Dick," said Perry ; " we gave him too 
much, you see." 

*' Yes, sir," replied Dick, '♦ you opened too hotly upon him ; — 
that's clear. K you had left him to me, Pd have drawn him as 
gently as a glove." 

Dick and his master, notwithstanding their precaution, had 
fbronk sufficient to intoxicate them : they were ripe for mischief, 
and heedless of consequences. When Charles Perry, therefore, 
ai^ed Dick what was to be done with the trunk, it is scarcely a 
Blatter of surprise, that Dick proposed packing the porter in it, and 
^rwaiding it according to the address on its cover ; or that Charles, 



372 THE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 

irritated aa he felt, and still suspicious that Coesar had ^yeen a 
party to the trick which had heen played off upon him, gaily as- 
sented to the proposal. Caesar was lifted into the hox, and the 
cords securely fastened, in a very few minutes. Dick then sallied 
forth to ascertain where the ship lay. He soon returned with 
a couple of Pill boatmen, who informed Charles that the William 
and Mary was lying at Kingroad, and waiting only for the tide 
to put to sea : they were just about to return to Pill, and they 
undertook, for a small sum, to carry the chest down the river in 
their boat, and place it safely on board the vessel before she sailed. 

It will, doubtless, be recollected that we left Godfrey Fair&x 
in a state of delightful agitation, on the deck of the William and 
Mary, while several of the crew were preparing to hoist his trunk 
out of the hold. As soon as it was brought on deck, Godfrey, 
with tears of joy glistening in his eyes, fell on his knees in front 
of it, and eagerly unfastened the cords. He trembled to find the 
bolt of the lock already shot back, and with the most anxious 
solicitude, threw up the cover : instead of the lovely face of Isabel, 
his eyes fell on that of the Little Black Porter I Uttering a shriek 
of horror, he leaped upon his feet, and stood aghast and speech- 
less for several moments, gazing on Devall6. The crew crowded 
round the chest, and Caesar, who had been roused by Grodfrey's 
exclamation, raised himself, and stared on the various objects by 
which he was surrounded, — expressing the utter astonishment he 
felt at his novel situation by such strange contortions of coun- 
tenance and incoherent expressions, that the sailors, who at the 
first glimpse they had of Caesar, in the box, were almost as much 
amazed as the Little Black Porter himself, began to laugh most 
heartily. Godfrey, at length, recovered sufficient possession of his 
faculties to grasp Devalle by the throat, and violently exclaim, — 
" Villain, explain ! What have you done ?" 

" That is precisely what I wish to know," replied Caesar, as 
soon as he could disengage himself from young Fairfax. " What 
have I done ? — ^Why do I find myself here ? — ^And where in the 
world am I?" 

" In de Bristol Channel," chuckled the black cook, who stood 
tuning a fiddle by the side of the chest. " Him shipped in good 
order and condition, aboard de good ship William and Mary." 

" Consigned, I see," added a sailor, " to Godfrey Fairfax, 
Esquire, of Demerara, — ^whither we're bound, direct, — ^^ with care 
this side upwards.' " 



THE LITTLE BLACK PORTER. 373 

** Godfiney Fairfax, of Demerara ! — consigned to Demerara !*' 
exclaimed Caesar, leaping out of the trunk : "" Don*t play with 
my feelings, — don't, — don't I If you are men, don't trifle with 
me. Your words are poisoned arrows to my poor heart.'* 

" Massa Blackee no runaway slave, eh ? " inquired the cook. 

''Unfortunate wretch that I am!" replied Csesar; ^' flesh is 
frail, and liberty's wand is a sugar-cane. I feel driven by present 
circumstances to confess, that I certainly did escape in the hold 
of the Saucy Jane, from Demerara, thirty years ago. Fellow- 
creatures, do not refund me to my old master : — ^I was the pro- 
perty of Mr. Fairfax." 

" Of my father ! " exclaimed Godfrey. 

" Miserable me ! His son here, too ! " said Caesar. '' I have 
been kidnapped, — cheated I I'm a free man, though ; — a citizen 
of the world ; a housekeeper, and the father of seven lovely 
children : do not deprive them of their paternal support. Re- 
member, I stand upon my rights : there are laws even for rab- 
bits ; English oak is the offspring of the land of liberty, and 
consequently I conunand somebody to put me ashore." 

" How can we put you ashore, my good man ?" asked a fellow 
in the garb of an hostler ; " we're cantering along at the rate of 
twelve miles an hour before the wind ; and I've lost sight of land 
this long time." 

" I don't care for that : — a kangaroo isn't a cockroach, and I 
demand my privileges. Put back the ship, I say ; I'm here by 
mistake." 

" Put back the ship ! " repeated the man in the stableman's 
dress ; " don't make yourself so disagreeable in company. Do 
you think every body is to be turned to the right-about for you? 
Tve got fifteen mules aboard under my care, and every hour is 
an object." 

" My good sir," said Devalle, with a smile which he deemed 
irresistible, " think of my wife and family," 

" Oh, nonsense I think of my mules." 

^ If there were but a being endowed with the sublime light 
of reason, among you," exclaimed Caesar, " I would shew by 
analogy, — yea, I would convince even any muleteer but this 
gentleman — ^" 

" Now don't fatigue yourself, nor put yourself out of the way," 
interrupted the man whom Csesar designated as the muleteer ; 
*' we all know, that once free, always free ; at least, so Tve been 



374 TRS LITTLB BLACK PORTBE. 

toM by tliem that ought to be dead as a nail upon svtdk ihiiigs : 
therefore it's only a pleasant trip for you to Demenuy and liiie^ 
Your old master can*t take yon again.** 

'*' But be will/* said Cfesar. 

•• But he can't,*' retorted the muleteer. 

** But he will, I tell you : what is the use of your saying a bull 
can't legally gore me through the stomach, when I know that ke 
will, whether he can or no P I must lift up my yoke,-— enise 
that fiddle ! it*s all out of tune,** continued Deyalle, snatching 
the instrument from the cook, who was scraping an old nsttdbi 
upon it : ** I sbaH lift up my voice, and protest loudly against 
this outrage. ' The downfal of Rome may be dated from the 
Sabine occurrence ; therefore, I warn every body to restore me 
at once to my adopted land. Retract, I say,'* pursued the Lilde 
Black Porter, almost unconsciously tuning the fiddle, and then 
handing it back to the cook as he spoke ; '^ retract, and land me, 
or you'll find, to your cost, that Demosthenes didn't put pebbles 
into his mouth for nothing." 

Gsesar, however, was not endowed with sufficient eloquence to 
get restored to " home, love, and liberty." He appealed in vain 
to the officers of the ship : they said it was impossible for tibem 
to lie to, and land him ; for night was coming on — ^the wind blew 
a capful — time was of the utmost importance — they touched no- 
where on the voyage — and, unwilling as they were to be encum- 
bered with him, — Jack in the box, (as Caesar was already familiarly 
termed,) must positively go with them to Demerara. 

Leaving the Little Black Porter and Godfrey Fairfax (who 
scarcely spoke a dozen words during the first week of the voyage) 
on board the William and Mary, we shall now return to some of 
the other characters in our tale. 

Firmly believing that he had been the dupe of Patty, XsabeT, 
and one or both of his rivals. Squire Perry concealed the circum- 
stances which had occurred at the Dog and Dolphin ; and, in a 
few months, to the great joy of Doctor Plympton, he left the 
neighbourhood entirely. George Wharton's affection for Isabel, 
in the mean time, had become so apparent, that several good- 
natured friends alluded to it, at the Doctor's table, in such plain 
terms, that the old gentleman was, at length, compelled to notice 
it. He said nothing, however, either to Isabel or George ; but 
wrote to the young gentleman's father, in Jamaica, stating, 
that, singular to say, the young people had clearly fallen in love 



THB LITTLB BtACK PORTBB. 375 

with eaeh other, in the opinion of many who w^re very well 
qualified to judge in such matters, although, for his own part, he 
protested that he could scarcely believe it. ^' I entreat you," he 
continued, " not to attach any blamd to me, on this occasion : I 
have done my duty to your eon, who is as fine a scholar as ever 
I turned out of hand ; although, I must confess, that, latterly, his 
diligence has visibly decreased. I beseech you, therefore, as he 
k sufficiently advanced in the classics to enter upon the grand 
stage of life, instead of suffering him to remain with me another 
year, which I believe was your intention, to send for him at once, 
and so blight this unhappy passion for my child in its very bud." 

To the Doctor's astonishment, Mr. Wharton wrote, in reply, 
that nothing could give him greater pleasure than an alliance 
with so respectable a family as that of his old friend Flympton ; 
that he highly approved of his son's choice ; that he was by no 
means opposed to early marriages; that he had, by the same 
packet, communicated his ideas as to a settlement, to an able pro- 
fessional gentleman, who would, doubtless, speedily wait upon the 
Doctor for his approval to a draft deed ; and that the sooner the 
match tras made the better. 

Adam Burdock, the old attorney of Furnival's Inn, was the 
professional gentleman alluded to in Mr. Wharton's epistle ; and, 
in a few days after its arrival. Doctor Flympton, who found him- 
self unable to communicate what had transpired to George and 
Isabel in person, made an excuse to come to London, and thence, 
by letter, afforded them the welcome intelligence. 

The deeds were prepared with extraordinary despatch ; and, 
after an absence of eleven days only, Doctor Flympton, accom- 
panied by the attorney, returned home. On entering the parlour, 
he was rather surprised to find his own capacious elbow-chair 
occupied by a stranger of very singular appearance. After 
gazing for a moment at his unknown visitor, who was fast asleep, 
he turned to his companion, and muttered a few incoherent 
phrases, by which the attorney discovered that his host was ex- 
tremely anxious to disclaim all previous acquaintance with the 
gentleman in the chair. • The stranger still slept. He was attired 
in a short nankeen coat and waistcoat, — ^the latter lying open from 
the second button upward, evidently to display a frilled and very 
Ml-bosomed shirt ; black small clothes, much the worse for wear ; 
white silk stockings, hanging in bags about the calves, and ex- 
hibiting an elaborate specimen, from the knee-band to the instep, 



876 TBE LITTLB BLACK PORTEB. 

of the art of daraing : his hands rested on a fine bamboo, and hk 
head was embellished with a well-powdered wig: — it was the 
Little Black Porter. 

Doctor Flympton coughed thrice with considerable emphasds, 
moved a chidr with unnecessary yiolence, and very energetically 
poked the fire ; but his guest still snored. He inquired of the 
attorney, by a look, what he should do. Burdock shrugged up his 
shoulders, smiled, and took a seat Patty Wallis, who had been 
busy hitherto in receiving the luggage from the driver, now 
entered the room ; George and Isabel immediately followed ; and 
the joyous laugh of the latter at once produced the desired effect 
on the Little Black Porter. He was awake and on his legs in 
an instant ; and, while he stood bowing and grinning at Isabel 
and the Doctor, Patty informed George, who had just returned 
with Isabel from a walk, that the stranger knocked at the door 
about ten minutes before, inquired for Miss Plympton, and, on 
being informed that she was out, but would probably return 
within half an hour, requested permission to wait, as he had some- 
thing of importance to communicate. 

Although the presence of his unknown guest was particularly 
annoying to him. Doctor Plympton addressed the Little Black 
Porter with his usual suavity, and begged he would resume his 
seat. A very awkward silence of several moments ensued ; 
during which Caesar took snuff with great self-complacency, 
brushed away the particles which had fallen on his frill, threw 
himself back in the chair, and seemed to be proud of the curiosity 
which he excited. 

"My friend Doctor Plympton," at length observed the at- 
torney, fixing his eye on Caesar so firmly — ^to use his own ex- 
pression — ^that he could not flinch from it, " my friend here, sir, 
would, doubtless, be happy to know what fortunate circumstance 
he is indebted to for the honour of your company P " 

" I dare say he would," replied Csesar ; " but my business is 
with the young lady." 

" With Isabel Plympton ! " exclaimed George. 

"Ay, sir!" replied the porter; "Cupid, the little blind god 
of hearts, you know— eh ! Doctor ? Ha, ha ! — ^Well ! who has 
not been young P — Cupid and his bow, and then his son Hymen! 
My toast, when Pm in spirits, always is — May Cupid's arrows 
be cut into matches to light Hymen's torch, but his bow never he 
destroyed in the conflagration." 



THB UTTLB BLACK PORTBB. 377 

*Goiiie, come, sir! — thk is foolery,** said Wharton, who 
seemed to he much agitated ; — ^^your husiness, at once." 

''Foolery!** exclaimed Caesar ; *'Iwill not suffer the dignity 
of man to he outraged in my person, rememher ; so take warn- 
ing. Foolery, indeed I — ^but never mind ; time is precious ; wis- 
dom has been rather improperly painted as an old woman with a 
flowing beard, and someof us lure not long to live : so, as we are 
all firiends, I will speak out my business without delay, provided 
I am honoured with Miss IsabeFs permission.** 

^ I would rather hear it in private,** said the young lady. 

*' Then I am dumb,** quoth Caesar : ^ Venus has sealed my 
lips with adamant.** 

''You are joking. Bell ;— surely you are joking!** exclaimed 
young Wharton. 

"Decidedly you are, child, — I say, decidedly,** eried the 
Doctor. 

" Indeed I am not, father,** replied Isabel, with a gravity of 
manner which, with her, was almost unprecedented. " If he 
have aught to say to me, and to me alone, I will hear it alone, or 
not at all.** 

" You see, gentlemen,** said Caesar, " I should be very happy 
— ^but Venus has stopped my breath. I have been always a slave 
to the sex. Mahomet went to the mountain ; and it is insolence 
in a rushlight to rival the moon. Do not entreat me, for Tm in- 
flexible.** 

" No one entreats you, man,** said George : "if Isabel Plymp- 
ton, and such as you, have any private business with each other, 
I. for one, ^ nk trouble you ^th my presence." 

Young Wharton had no sooner uttered these words, than he 
walked out of the room. 

" Good Heavens I ** exclaimed the Doctor, " I never saw George 
so roused. Sir,** added he, addressing the attorney, "he*s the 
quietest creature in existence, — gentle as a lamb, — meek as a 
dove ; his enemies, if it were possible for one of his kind disposi- 
tion to have any, would say he was even too passive. Pm quite 
alarmed ; — pray come with me,— pray do : assist me, sir, to soothe 
him. Pm quite unused to such events, and scarcely know how 
to act. — ^Excuse me, sir, a moment.** 

The last words of the Doctor were addressed, as he drew the 
attorney out of the room, to the Little Black Porter. " Don*t 
mention it, sir,** said Caesar ; " if we can*t make free, why should 

2 B 



878 THS LITTLE BLACK POR.TBK. 

crickets be respected? And now, young lady, as we aie qnite 
alone — ^*' 

** You come from Godfrey Fairfax,** interrupted Isabel. 

** Bless my soul!** exclaimed Cesar; — "a witch! — the 
world's at an end ! But I ascribe it to Cupid. How do you 
know—** 

'* I guessed — ^I was sure of it : — ^I dreamt of him last night. 
Give me his letter.** 

"His letter P** 

" Yes ; — have you not one from him P** 

" I will not deny that I haye ; but I was only to deliyer it on 
condition — '* 

" Don't talk of conditions ;— give it to me, at once.*' 

" There it is, then : your commands are my law. I have been 
a martyr to my submission to the fkir, but I don't repent ; and, 
as philosophy and tu^Xogy both concur — ^** 

" Not another word,** interrupted Isabel, " but leave the house : 
— go. What ! Cupid's messenger, and demur ? '* 

" Never : — ^I will fly. Wish for me, and Caesar Devalle shall 
appear. I kiss your fair fingers." 

The Little Black Porter perpetrated a bow in his best style, and 
closed the front door behind him, as Doctor Flympton returned 
to the parlour. 

" He's very obstinate — George is," said the Doctor ; " I can*t 
account for it ; — ^he won*t come in. But where*s the gentleman 
of colour P" 

" Gone, father.** 

"Gone!** 

" Yes ; his business with me was brief, you see.** 

" That may be ; but I assure you. Bell, I do not feol ezacfly 
satisfied with you. I should like to know — " 

"Ask me no questions to-night, papa: I am not well, and 
I wish to retire. If you will permit me to go to my room at oitt 
I will dutifully answer any thing you please in the morning.*' 

" Well, go, my love ; — go, and Gt)d bless you ! but it*s veiy 
mysterious for all that.** 

Isabel retired, and, in a short time, the attorney, followed by 
George Wharton, entered the parlour. They found the Doctor 
walking to and fro, with his arms folded across his breast, and 
evidently absorbed in thought. Their appearance roused him 
from his reverie : he advanced, very earnestly shook hands with 



THE L1T1XB BLACK PORTBR. 379 

both of them, and asked pardon for his want of urbanity ; as an 
excuse for which, he protested, with ludicrous solemnity, that he 
scarcely knew whether he was walking on his head or his heels. 
^ My pupil, too," he continued, looking at young Wharton, but 
addressing the attorney, ^^ I regret to perceive, still clothes his 
countenance in the frowns of displeasure." 

*^ Isabel is occupied in privately conferring somewhere with 
our new friend, I presume," said George. 

"No, child — not at all," replied the Doctor, with affected 
calmness ; " she is gone to her room : one of her old attacks of 
bead-ache has occurred, and we may not expect to see her again 
for the remainder of the evening. The gentleman of colour had 
departed before my return to the parlour." 

*' It would have been as well, I think, if you had not quitted 
it," said young Wharton, angrily : " I remember the time when 
you made Miss Flympton a close prisoner, and would suffer none 
but the inmates of your own house to speak to her, in order that 
she should not hold any communication with a young gentleman 
of respectable family who was well known in the neighbourhood : 
now, you leave her with a stranger of the most suspicious ap- 
pearance, who boldly tells you that he has private business with 
her, which she refuses to hear even in your presence! But 
of course. Miss Flympton acquainted you with the purport of his 
visit." 

" No, Gewge, I declare she did not," said the Doctor, with 
great humility. 

" What, sir ! did she refuse when you insisted ?" 

" I did not insist," replied Doctor Flympton ; " I did not insist, 
for she told me beforehand that she would answer no questions 
"^1 the morning, — or something to that effect." 

" You astonish me ! " 

**I confess that I was staggered myself: — ^but what could I 
do ? She has grown out of her girlhood like a dream ; and for 
the first time in her life, to my apprehension, my child stood as a 
woman before me. Her look, her tcme, her posture, and, above 
all, the expression of her eye-brow, reminded me so strongly, on 
a sudden, of her majestic mother, that all my energies were sus- 
pended : the dead seemed to be raised from the grave, and I was 
awed before her. But a truce to this ; it will not occur again. 
I was taken by surprise ; and, by-the-by, George, on reflection, 
I feel compelled to observe, that it is impossible that I should 

2 B 2 



880 TUB LITTLB BLACK PORTBB. 

tubmit to the dictatorial air which 70a thought fit to assimie a 
few moments rinee. Remember, sir, who you are, and what I 
am ; or rather, perhaps, what I was ; for truly, I feel that I am 
not the man I recollect myself to have been : — that, howeyer, is 
no excuse for you.** 

^ On the contrary, sir,** said George, afiectionately taking the 
old man*s hand, " it adds to my offence.** 

*' You do not mean to conyey, that you are conscious of any 
visible symptoms of my being unequal to my former self^ — do 
you?" 

" By no means, sir ; but — " 

^ Well, well I once more, enough of this. Let us think of 
our respectable guest, to whom I owe a thousand apologies, and 
order supper. Let us postpone all that*B unpleasant until the 
morning ; when, I have no doubt, this affair wiU prove to be a 
little farce, at which we shall all heartily laugh. The gentleman 
of colour is, doubtless, an itinerant vender of some of those 
numberless absurdities for the toilet or the work-box, which run 
away with a great portion of every girFs pocket-money. The 
idea did not strike me before, but I am almost persuaded tjiat I am 
correct in my supposition ; and doubtless, Isabel, piqued at your 
warmth, — which really almost electrified me, — determin^ to 
punish you, by affecting to be serious and making a mystery of 
the affair. Retaliate, George, by sleeping soundly to-night, and 
looking blithe and debonair, as the young Apollo newly sprung 
from his celestial conch, to-morrow morning.** 

In spite of the Doctor*s occasional attempts to infuse some 
portion of gaiety into the conversation that ensued, a deep gloom 
reigned in his little parlour during the remainder of the evening. 
Very shortly after the removal of the cloth from the supper-table, 
the old attorney, much to the satisfaction of the Doctor and 
George, retired to his bed-room, and they immediately followed 
his example. 

Isabel appeared at the breakfast-table the next morning ; but 
her usual gaiety had vanished : she looked pale and thoughtful, 
and when addressed, she replied only in monosyllables. Gieorge 
Wharton was sullen, and the Doctor could not avoid betray- 
ing his uneasiness : he several times made such observations 
as he thought would infallibly force Isabel into an elucidation 
of the mysteries of the preceding evening; but she was proof 
against them all, and maintained an obstinate silence on the 



THE LITTLB BLACK PORTSa. 381 

flnbject. Under the pretence of shewing the beauties of his 
pleasore-ground, Doctor Plympton drew the attorney, who was 
breakfasting with the most perfect professional non-chalancey from 
his chocolate and egg, to one of the windows ; and there briefly, 
but pathetically, laid open the state of his mind. ^^ I declare," said 
he, *^ I am nearly deprived of my reasoning faculties with amaze- 
ment, at the conduct of Bell and the son of your respected client. 
So complete a metamorphoeas has never occurred since the 
cessation of miracles. £ach of them is an altered being, sir ; 
they are the antipodes of what they were ; and I assure you, it 
alarms, — ^it unnerves me. George, who used to be as bland as 
Zephyr, and obedient as a gentle child, either sits morose, or 
blusters, as you saw him last night, like a bully. And Bell, who 
indulged almost to an excess in the innocent gaieties of girlhood, 
is turned into marble : no one would believe, to look at her now, 
that she had ever smiled. She has lost her laugh, which used to 
pour gladness into my old heart, and is quite as dignified and 
almost as silent as some old Greek statue. How do you account 
for this?" 

'* Sir,*' replied Burdock, whose chocolate was cooling ; '^ make 
yourself quite easy : such changes are no novelties to me ; they 
must be attributed to the business of the day : — the execution of a 
deed of settlement, in contemplation of a speedy marriage, is an 
awful event to those who have never gone through the ceremony 
before. I have witnessed hysterics at a pure love-match, even 
when it was seasoned with money in profusion on both sides.** 

The attorney now strode back to his seat, and began his 
capital story relative to the great cause of Dukes and Driver. 
The Doctor reluctantly returned to the table, and seemed to 
listen to his guest ; but his mind was occupied on a different 
subject ; and when the cloth was removed, and the attorney's tale 
concluded, he was scarcely conscious that he had breakfasted, 
and knew no more of the merits of the case, than Beaufidel, who 
sat on a footstool, looking ruefully at his mistress, and evidently 
disappointed at not having been favoured with his usual portion 
of smiles and toast. 

Immediately after breakfast, Burdock produced, from the 
recesses of his bag, the marriage setdement, and in a dear and 
distinct manner, proceeded to read over its contents,— occasionally 
pausing to translate its technical provisoes into common sense, 
uid enjoiniiig the young people bddly to menti<m any objections 



382 THE LITTLE BLACK POSTER. 

that might strike them to the language of the deed, so as id 
afford him an opportunity of explaining them away as they oc- 
curred. In the course of a couple of hours, he had gone through 
the drudgery of perusing half-a-dozen skins of parchment ; and 
the gardener and Patty were called in to witness the execution of 
the deed hy the young couple, and Doctor Plympton and Adam 
Burdock as trustees to the settlement. 

. It was a moment of interest : — George and the Doctor ad- 
vanced to lead Isabel to the table ; she started firom her chair as 
they approached, hurried towards the deed, and snatched the pen 
which the attorney gallantly offered for her use. He guided her 
hand to the seal, against which she was to set her name ; but the 
pen rested motionless on the parchment. After a moment's pause, 
the attorney looked up : Isabers face, which had previously been 
exceedingly pale, was now of a deep crimson ; her lips quivered ; 
her eyes were fixed, apparently, upon some object that had ap- 
peared at the door of the room ; and relinquishing her hold of 
the pen, she faintly articulated, " Forgive me, George, — ^Father, 
forgive me, — but I cannot do it I " 

Following the direction of her eyes, Burdock turned round 
while Isabel was speaking, and, to his surprise, beheld the Little 
Black Porter, who stood bowing and grinning at the door. 

George Wharton said a few words to encourage Isabel, and 
supported her with his arm ; and her father, with clasped hands, 
repeated, in a sorrowful tone, " Cannot do it !" 

"No, — no," said Isabel; "never, father, — never; — ^wfaile he 
lives and loves me." 

" He, child ! Whom mean you ?" exclaimed the old man. 

" Godfrey Fairfax,'* replied Isabel, tremulously. 

Her head dropped on her shoulder as she spoke ; but though 
she was evidently fainting, George withdrew his hand from her 
waist, with an exclamation of deep disgust ; and she would have 
sunk on the floor, had not the Little Black Porter, who had been 
gradually advancing, now sprung suddenly forward, and, pushing 
young Wharton aside, received her in his arms. The attention 
of George and the Doctor had been so rivetted on Isabel, that 
they were not aware of Devalll*s presence until this moment. 
Greorge no sooner beheld him, than he rushed out of the room ; 
the astonished Doctor staggered to a chair ; and the two servants, 
instead of assisting their mistress, stood motionless spectators of 
the scene. Burdock alone seemed to retain perfect possesaoa 



THE UTTLE BLACK PORTEB. 383 

of his flenses : he requested the gardener to fetch the usual restor- 
atiyes, and gently reproached Patty for her neglect. 

While Patty, who now became very alert and clamorous, re- 
lieyed the Little Black Porter from the burthen which he willingly 
supported, the attorney suggested to Doctor Plympton, the pro- 
priety of obtaining possession of a letter, the end of which was 
peeping out of IsabeFs bosom, before she recovered; but the 
Doctor sat, heedless of his remark, gazing at his pale and inani- 
mate child. Burdock, therefore, without loss of time, moved 
cautiously towards Isabel, and without being detected even by 
the waiting-maid, drew the letter forth. At that instant Isabel 
opened her eyes, and gradually recovered her senses. She in- 
timated that she was perfectly aware of what Burdock had done ; 
and, after requesting that the letter might be handed to her father, 
with the assistance of Patty she retir^ from the room. 

The Little Black Porter was following Isabel and Patty as 
closely as possible, and had already placed one foot outside the 
door, when Doctor Plympton peremptorily ordered him to come 
back. Devalle returned, bowing very obsequiously ; and when 
he had arrived within a pace or two of the Doctor's chair, with a 
strange mixture of humility and impudence, he inquired what 
were the honoured gentleman's commands. 

The Doctor had entirely laid aside his usual suavity of deport- 
ment, and, in a loud voice, accompanied with violent gesticulation, 
he thus addressed the ever-smiling object of his wrath : — " Thou 
fell destroyer of my peace ! — ^what art thou ? Art thou Incubus, 
Succubus, or my evil spirit ? Who sent thee ? In what does 
thy influence over my child consist ? Why am I tortured by thy 
visitation ? — Speak — explain to me — ^unfold thy secret— or I shall 
forget my character, and do I know not what." 

" Pray be moderate, my dear friend," said Burdock, interposing 
his person between the Doctor and Devalle. 

"Ay, ay, — ^that is wisely said, — ^pray be moderate, my dear 
friend," repeated Devalle ; " we are all like the chaff which we 
blow away with the breath of our own nostrils. Be calm — be 
calm : let us be rational, and shew our greatest attribute. A 
man that is a slave to passion, is worse than a negro in a planta- 
tion : — ^he's a wild beast. I don't wish to be rude, for life is short ; 
and more than one great man has been cut off by a cucumber : 
but I must observe, that a passionate gentleman is very likely to 
make holes in his manners. — ^What says our legal friend ? Caesar 



384 THB LITTLE BLACK POftTXS. 

Deralle will feel honoured in being penmtted utterly to abandon 
himself to the good gentleman's opinion. Arbitration against ar- 
gament alway. h«i my humble voice : and if a m<ui wiahes to get 
well through the world, civility is the best horse he can ride." 

^ If your observations are addressed to me,** said the attorney, 
** they are unwelcome. Restrict your discourse to plain answers 
to such questions as I shall put to you. Now attend :— did you 
deliver this letter last night to Miss Plympton f ** 

^* Why does the gentleman ask ?*' 

*^ I suspect you did.** 

** Avow or deny it, sirrah ! at once,** exclaimed the Doctor. 

*^ Oh, pardon me, there,** replied Devalle ; ** we are all men : 
the cat expects to be used after its kind ; and if a man is to be 
treated like a dog, he may as well bark, and wear a tail at once. 
I can bear a blow as well as most people, from a blackguard ; 
but, with gentlemen, I expect a certain behaviour. Resentment 
is found in the breast of a camel ; and there is no doubt but that 
man is endowed with feelings : — if not, why do we matry ?*' 

^ Well, my good friend,** said the attorney, changing his 
manner entirely from that which he had adopted in his first 
category, '^ perhaps you may be right : we will not dispute the 
points you have raised ; but you must allow that Doctor Pl3nnp- 
ton has some excuse for being warm. Appearances are strong ; 
but I doubt not you will, as an honest man, unequivocally answer 
us, and clear them up.** 

" Oh, sir,** replied Devalle, " I am yours devotedly : ask me 
no questions ; for I do not like to have what I know tugged out 
of my conscience by an attorney, like jaw-teeth ¥dth nippers, or 
corks from a bottle by a twisting screw ; for I have a large family, 
and am more than fifty years old. I will tell you frankly, that I 
did give Miss that letter : I was sent on a special mission ¥rith it 
to her firom Demerara. I went out in the same ship with Mr. 
Godfrey Fairfax : on landing, we found that his father had just 
died, and left him heir to all ; then, as flesh is grass, he sent me 
back at once with orders — ^if Miss was not married — ^to give her 
his hUlet-dfmx, That*s the truth : I confess it freely, for it*s use- 
less to deny it; and our heads will lie low enough a hundred 
years hence. Perhaps you will not take it uncivil in me to say, 
that you would have found all that I have said, and more, in 
fewer words, if, instead of calling me sirrah, and so forth, you 
had perused Mx, Godfrey*s letter. Excuse me, but the philosopher 



THB LITTLE BLACK PORTER. S85 

ooold not read the stars until somebody told bim to bny a teles- 
cope. I am for civility, mutual improvement, and freedom all 
over the world. And now, gentlemen, I hope you will permit 
me to retire. I must find my wife and family : I have not made 
a single inquiry for them yet ; though they occupy all my waking 
thoughts, and are the dramatis persome of my little dreams. I 
humbly withdraw, but shall soon be in the neighbourhood again, 
— ^for locomotion is salubrious ; and, if this present match with 
Miss be not strangled, I hope to have the honour of seeing you 
in church, in order, humble as I am, to forbid the banns. You 
would not smile, perhaps, if it occurred to your recollection, as 
it does to mine, that lions have been emancipated by mice, and 
more than one hero has been choked by a horsebean. It is for 
these reasons, I apprehend, judging from analogy,-4i doctrine I 
reverence, — ^that cattle pasturing on a common or warren, abhor 
rabbit-burrows, and we, ourselves, detest and exterminate scor- 
pions and wasps. — Gentlemen, your most humble and very de- 
voted servant, Cesar Devalle." 

With his usual multitude of obeisances, the Little Black Porter 
now left Doctor Plympton and the attorney to peruse the love- 
letter of Godfrey Fairfax to Isabel. It abounded with professions 
of the most passionate attachment ; the deepest regret was ex- 
pressed at the writer's present inability to return to England ; 
but he vowed to fly to Isabel, on the wings of love, early in the 
ensuing summer, if she still considered his hand worthy of her 
acceptance. He stated, that he was unable to solve the mystery 
of her escape from the trunk : he feared that something un- 
pleasant had happened, but clearly exonerated his fond, confiding 
Isabel from having borne any share in the base plot which had 
evidently been played off against him. 

These allusions to the affair of the trunk, were beyond Doctor 
Plympton's comprehension ; Burdock, however, obtained a toler- 
ably dear insight to the circumstances from Isabel, Patty, George 
Wharton, and Csesar Devalle, at an interview which he subse- 
quently had with the Little Black Porter in FumivaPs Inn. 
When he communicated the result of his investigations on the 
subject to the Doctor, that worthy personage protested that he 
should pass the residue of his life in mere amazement. 

George Wharton quitted Doctor Plympton*s house, without 
seeing Isabel again, on the eventful morning when the pen was 
placed in her hand to execute the mairiage settlement ; and, with 



3S8 THE tITTLE BL&CE POBTBB. 

the full i^probfttion of hia &ther's attorney, he sailed, hj the first 
■hip, tD bis native land. Isabel prevailed upon the Doctor to write 
to Godfrey Fairioz, inviting him to fulfil hia promiBe of paying 
them a visit. She also wrote to GodStey herself, by the same 
packet : bnt the fickle young man had changed his mind before 
the letten reached him ; and six years after the departare of 
George Wharton fWxn England, Adam Bnrdock was employed to 
draw a marriage settlement between the still blooming coquette, 
babel Plympton, and her early admirer, Charles Ferry, who for 
the preceding fideen months had been a widower. The Little 
Black Porter did not think proper to return to Demerara again; 
and he was seen in a very decent wig, by the side of the galleiy 
clock, when Mr. Wilberforce last spoke against slarery, in the 
House of Commana. 



THE DESSERT. 



INTRODUCTION. 

At a table of three courses, the guests hftve a right to expect 
■ome sort of a dessert ; it is the oecessuy consequence of a certain 
order of dinners ; and, if the host be unable to bedeck the board 
with choice rarities, be must, at anj rate, be provided with a nut, 
an olive, and, for late utters, a devilled gizzard. No man is 
permitted to offend foim, or to infringe upon the privileges of 
diners-out, in this particular. If he cannot furnish what he fain 
would, he most offer what he can ; — it being, properly enough no 
doubt, conventionally voted sheer cruelty, to give a man nothing to 
eat after he has had his fill of the best of everything. If no pine- 
apple be present, an apology is peremptorily expected, and some- 
thing must be selected to take the important character which it 
osaally sustains in the festal afterpiece, "for that night only." 
Abs. DouBterbattle, my late much lamented friend, considered the 
tragedy train of Mrs. Siddons, as the bontu bouche of her Queen 
Ea^erine; and there are many estimable people, who regard the 
range of dishes at a dinner-table, as merely composing a dull vista, 
through which they can look forward to the fine prospect of fruit 



INTBODCCTIOie. 

However good the by-gone conraes 
nuiy hsTE been, — nhatever may be the disposition of the host, 
whether " civil as an orange," or sourer than a lemon, they 
Murdily maintain, — and, it must be confessed, with some pro- 
priety, — that every man should be treated according to his deuert. 
It occadonally happens, that, notwithstanding his zeal, the founder 
of the feast caters so unluckily, that some of his friends travel 
fVom Dan to Beersbeba, among his dishes, and find all barren. A 
goest so situated, is justified in supposing that there will be, at 
least, one oasis in the detert, to aSbrd him refreshment. 

Impressed with the force of his own arguments, the purveyor 
of the preceding courses has attempted an epilogue to his enter- 
tainment ; in which, he trusts that he has not presumed too much 
on the usual leniency of after-dinner criticism ; and that none of 
his guests are of the delightful classof censors, who flouriab aflail 
to demolish a cobweb, — who indulge in proving, by very elaborate 
and profound arguments, that there is but little substance in 
"triflea light as air;" or who occasionallygosofar, in fits of ultra 
fastidiousness, as to cross an author's t, uid dot an t for him. 



THE DEAF POSTILION. 

In the month of Januarj, 1804, Joey Duddle, a well-known 
postilion on the North Road, caught a cold, through sleeping 
without his night-cap ; deafiiess was, eventually, the consequence ; 
and, as it will presently appear, a young fortune-hunter lost 
twenty thousand pounds, and a handsome wife, through Joey 
Duddle's indiscretion, in omitting, on one fatal occasion, to wear 
his sixpenny woollen night-cap. 

Joey did not discontinue driving, after his misfortune; his 
eyes and his spurs were, generally speaking, of more utility in 
hia monotonous avocation, than his ears. His stage was, invari- 
ahly, nine miles up the road, or *' a short fifteen ** down towards 
Gretna ; and he had repeated his two rides so often, that he 
could have gone over the ground hlindfold. People in chaises 
are rarely given to talking with their postilions : Joey knew, hy 
experience, what were the two or three important questions in 
posting, and the usual times and places when and where they 
were asked ; and he was always prepared with the proper answers. 
At those parts of the road, where objects of interest to strangers 
occurred, Joey faced about on his saddle, and if he perceived the 
eyes of his passengers fixed upon him, their lips in motion, and 
their fingers pointing towards a gentleman's seat, a fertile valley, 
a beautiful stream, or a fine wood, he naturally enough pre- 
sumed that they were in the act of inquiring what the seat, the 
valley, the stream, or the wood was called ; and he replied ac- 
cording to the fact. The noise of the wheels was a very good 
excuse for such trifling blunders as Joey occasionally made ; 
and whenever he found himself progressing towards a dilemma, 
he very dexterously contrived, by means of a sly poke with his 
spur, to make his hand-horse evidently require the whole of his 
attention. At the journey's end, when the gentleman he had 
driven produced a purse, Joey, without looking at his lips, knew 
that he was asking a question, to which it was his duty to reply 
" Thirteen and sixpence,** or " Two-and-twenty shillings,** accord- 
ing as the job had been, "the short up,** or "the long down.** 
If any more questions were asked, Joey suddenly recollected 



390 TBB DEAF POSTILION. 

flomething that demanded his immediate attention ; b^ged par- 
don, promised to be back in a moment, and disappeared, never to 
return. The natural expression of his features indicated a re- 
markably taciturn disposition ; almost every one with whom he 
came in contact, was deterred, by his physiognomy, from asking 
him any but necessary questions; and as he was experienced 
enough to answer, or cunning enough to evade these, when be 
thought fit, but few travellers ever discovered that Joey Duddle 
was deaf. So blind is man in some cases, even to his bodily 
defects, that Joey, judging from his general success in giving 
correct replies to the queries propounded to him, almost doubted 
his own infirmity ; and never would admit that he was above one 
point beyond ^ a little hard of hearing.** 

On the first of June, in the year 1806, about nine o*clock in 
the morning, a chaise and four was perceived approaching towards 
the inn kept by Joey*8 master, at a first-rate Gretna-green gallop. 
As it dashed up to the door, the post-boys vociferated the usual 
call for two pair of horses in a hurry : but, unfortimately, the 
innkeeper had only Joey and his tits at home ; and as the four 
horses which brought the chaise from the last posting-house, had 
already done a double job that day, the lads would not ride them 
on, through so heavy a stage as " the long down.** 

^* How excessively provoking ! ** exclaimed one of the passen- 
gers ; " I am certain that our pursuers are not far behind us. The 
idea of having the cup of bliss dashed from my very lips,— of 
such beauty and affluence being snatched from me, for want of a 
second pair of paltry posters, drives me frantic ! ** 

*'A Gretna-Green affair, I presume, sir,** observed the in- 
quisitive landlord. 

The gentleman made no scruple of admitting that he had run 
away with the fair young creature who accompanied him, and 
that she was entitled to a fortune of twenty thousand pounds : — 
" one half of which,** continued the gentleman, " I would freely 
give, — if I had it, — to be, at this instant, behind four horses, 
scampering away, due north, at frQl speed.** 

'* I can assure you, sir,** said the landlord, " that a fresh pair 
of such animals as I offer you, wiU carry you over the ground as 
quick as if you had ten dozen of the regular road-hacks. No 
man keeps better cattle than I do, and this pair beats all the 
others in my stables by two miles an hour. But in ten minutes, 
perhaps, and certainly within half an hour — ^** 



THE DEAF POSTILION. 391 

. ^* Half an hour I half a minute^s delay might ruin me,** re- 
plied the gentleman ; '^ I hope I shall find the character you have 
given your cattle a correct one ; — dash on, postilion.** 

Before this short conversation hetween the gentleman and the 
innkeeper was concluded, Joey Duddle had put-to his horses, — 
which were, of course, kept harnessed, — and taken his seat, pre- 
pared to start at a moment*s notice. He kept his eye upon the 
innkeeper, who gave the usual signal of a rapid wave of the hand, 
as soon as the gentleman ceased speaking ; and Joey Duddle*8 
cattle, in obedience to the whip and spur, hobbled off at that 
awkward and evidently painful pace, which is, perforce, adopted 
by the most praiseworthy post-horses for the first ten minutes or 
so of their journey. But the pair, over which Joey presided, were, 
as the innkeeper had asserted, very speedy ; and the gentleman 
soon felt satisfied, that it would take an extraordinary quadruple 
team to overtake them. His hopes rose at the sight of each 
succeeding mile-stone ; he ceased to put his head out of the 
window every five minutes, and gaze anxiously up the road ; he 
already anticipated a triumph, — ^when a crack, a crush, a shriek 
from the lady, a jolt, an instant change of position, and a positive 
pause occurred, in the order in which they are stated, with such 
suddenness and relative rapidity, that the gentleman was, for a 
moment or two, utterly deprived of his presence of mind by alarm 
and astonishment. The bolt which connects the fore-wheels, 
splinter-bar, springs, fore-bed, axle-tree, et cetera, with the perch, 
that passes under the body of the chaise, to the hind wheel-springs 
and carriage, had snapped asunder : the whole of the fore parts 
were instantly dragged onward by the horses; the braces by 
which the body was attached to the fore-springs, gave way ; the 
chaise fell forward, and, of course, remained stationary with ita^ 
contents, in the middle of the road ; while the Deaf Postilion 
rode on, with his eyes intently fixed on vacuity before him, as 
though nothing whatever had happened. 

Alarmed, and indignant in the highest degree, at the postilion*s 
conduct, the gentleman shouted with all his might such exclama- 
tions as any man would naturally use on such an occasion ; but 
Joey, although still but at a little distance, took no notice of 
what had occurred behind his back, and very complacently trotted 
his horses on at the rate of eleven or twelve miles an hour. He 
thought the cattle went better than ever ; his mind was occupied 
with the prospect of a speedy termination to his journey ; he felt 



SM THE DEAF POSTILIOM. 

elated t tbe idu of outstripping the pnmieTH, — for Joey had 
discrimiiution eoongh to perceive, at a glance, that his pMsengczs 
were runaway lovers, — and he went on very much to his own 
satisfaction. A» he approached the inn, whkh tenmnated "the 
long down," Joey, m osiuJ, pot his hoiaes upon their mettle, 
and they, having nothing but a ftve-cwrisge and a young lady's 
trunk behind them, rattled ap to the door at a rate UDesompled 
in the annals of posting, with all the little hoys and girls of the 
neighbourhood hallooing in their rear. 

It was not until he drew up to the inn-door, and slighted ftaai 
his saddle, that Joey discovered his disaster ; and nothing could 
equal the utter astonishment which his features then displayed. 
He gazed at the place where the body of his chaise, his passen- 
gers, and hind- wheels ought to have been, for above a minute : 
and then suddenly started down the road on foot, under an idea 
that he must very recently have divpped them. On reaching a 
little elevation, which commanded above two miles of tbe ground 
over which he had come, be found, to his utter dismay, that no 
traces of the main body of his chaise were perceptible ; nor 
could he discover his passengers, who had, as it appeared in the 
sequel, been overtaken by the young lady's friends. Poor Joey 
immediately ran into a neighbouring hay-loft, where he hid 
himself, in despair, for three days ; and when discovered, he was, 
with great difficulty, persuaded by his master, who highly esteemed 
hint, to resume his whip and return to bis saddle. 



CONJUGATING A VERB. 

Dick Ossob and his brother Giles were fine specimens of the 
bumpkin boys of the West of England : their father, who was 
a flourishing farmer, sent them to pick np a little learning at an 
expensive academy, in a large town about twenty miles from the 
Tillage where he lived. The master had but recently purchased 
the school from his predecessor ; and, stranger as he was to the 
dialect of that part of the country, he could scarcely understand 
above one half of what Dick and Giles Orrod and a few more 
of Tiis pupils meant when they spoke. " I knowed, I rinned, and 
I A«^," were barbarisms, to which his ear had never been accus- 
tomed ; and it was only by degrees he discovered that they were 
translations, into the rural tongue, of " I knew, I ran, and I hit." 
But there were few so rude of speech as Dick and Giles Orrod. 

Fraternal affection was a virtue that did not flourish in the 
bosoms of either of these young gentlemen. Dick's greatest 
enemy on earth was Giles ; and if honest Giles hated any human 
being except the master, it was Dick. They were excellent spies 
on each other's conduct ; Giles never missed an opportunity of 
procuring Dick a castigation; and Dick was equally active in 
making the master acquainted with every punishable peccadillo 
that his brother committed. 

One day an accusation was preferred against Master Richard, 
by one of the monitors, of having cut down a small tree in the 
shrubbery; but there was not sufficient evidence to bring the 
offence home to the supposed culprit. 

*^ Does no young gentleman happen to know any thing more 
of this matter ?'* inquired the master. 

Giles immediately walked from his seat, and, taking a place 
by the side of his brother, looked as though he had something 
relevant to commimicate. 

" Well, sir ;" said the master, " what do you know about the 
tree?" 

" If you plaze, sir," growled Giles, " if you plaze, sir, I sawed 



un. 



" Oh I you * sawed un,' did you ? " 

2 c 



394 OOHJUOATINO A VSBB. 



'* lai, I did :— Dick oeed I saw un.** 

«« Is this true, master Richard ? ** 

^^Iss,** said Dick; and Giks, much to bis atftoalsluiient, was 
immediately flogged. 

At the termination of the ceiemonjy it oocorved to the master 
to ask Giksi how he had obtaioed the saw. " About yomr saw, 
young gentleman ;" said he, ^' where do you get a saw wb«i yon 
want one ? '* 

(^es had some &int notions of grammaar floatliig in his brain, 
and tJiinkiBg that the master meant the verb, umI not the sub- 
stantive, blabbered out — " From see" 

" Sea ! — so you go on board the vessels in the dock, do you, 
out of school hours, and expend your pocket money, in purchasing 
implements to cut down my shrubbery ?" 

** Noa, sir," said Giles ; ** I doant goa aboard no ships, nor cut 
down noa shrubberies." 

" What, sirrah ! did you not confess it ? " 

** Noa, sir ; I said I sawed brother Dick cut down the tree, and 
he seed I sawed un, and a* couldn*t deny it." 

" I didn't deny it," said Dick. 

" Then possibly you are the real delinquent, after all, Master 
Richard," exclaimed the master. 

Dick confessed that he was, but he hoped the master would not 
beat him, after having flogged his brother for the same offence : 
in lus way, he humbly submitted that one punishment, no matter 
who received it, — ^but especially as it had been bestowed on one of 
the same family as the delinquent, — ^was, to all intents and pur- 
poses, enough for one crime. 

The master, however, did not coincide with Dick on this grave 
point, and the young gentleman was duly horsed* < 

" As for Master Giles," said the master, as he laid down the 
birch, " he well merited a flogging for his astonishing — ^his wilful 
stupidity. If boys positively will not profit by my instructions, 
I am bound, in duty to their parents, to try the effect of castiga- 
tion. "No man grieves more sincerely than I do, at the necessity 
which exists for using the birch and cane as instruments of libend 
education ; and yet, imfortunately, no man, I verily believe, is 
compelled to use them more frequently than myself. I was oc- 
cupied for full half an hour, in drumming this identical verb into 
Giles Orrod, only yesterday morning : and you, sir," added he, 
turning to Dick, " you, I suppose, are quite as great a blockhead 



OOMJUOATINO * VBSB. S95 

M yonr brother. Now attoid to me, both of yon :— wlurt's the 
past of teet" 

Neitbw of the yonog gentlemen replied. 

" I thought as mach ! " quoth the master. " The perfect of tee 
m tha present of raw, — Sbb, Saw." 

" Sbb, Saw," shouted the boy« ; bnt that anfertanMe verb was 
the stumMmg-block to thdr adTancemeat. They never conld 
comprehend how the perfect of m0 could be the present of latn ; 
and days, weeks, monthfi, — nay, years after, — they were ftill at 
t)mr endlees, and, to them, incomprehensible game of SES-eAw. 



POSTHUMOUS PRAISE. 

It posterity were to judge of us on tlie evidence of our giaye** 
atones, it would certainly pronounce this to be an age of affectionate 
husbands, tender wives, dutiful children, loving parents, and most 
sincere and disinterested friends : it would conclude, from the tes- 
timony of our epitaphs, that we were all either deeply lamented, 
universally respected, or the most benevolent and amiable of men. 
We should have the credit of possessing every talent that can 
adorn humanity, except that of writing good English ;— of be^ig 
excellent painters, architects, statesmen, and philosopliers ; but, 
strange to say, most pitiful poetasters. De mortuis nil nist honum, 
is a maxim which no man ventures to offend, either in prose or 
verse, when composing an epitaph. Many persons who never 
could obtain a syllable of praise while alive, get very good 
characters given them after their decease. I always entertained 
an opinion that Hinks, the attorney, was a low, pettifogging 
scoundrel, and frequently beat his wife ; until one day I disco- 
vered, in the course of a stroll round the church -yard, where his 
remains were deposited, that he was a ^* tender husband ** and '* an 
ornament to his profession.** The most impatient patient whose 
pulse was ever felt by a physician, is deseribed on his l!bmb-stone 
as one " who bore afflictions sore,** with laudable resignation. The 
monument-makers, it appears, have always a ^pck of lettered 
slabs in their ware-rooms, which, like the skeleton promissory 
notes sold at the stationers*, may be completed- at the shortest 
notice, by filling up the blanks with names and dates. Death*s 
heads have lately been at a discount ; but poetical praise on 
marble is still rather above par ; and lines that have been used 
on more than five hundred occasions, are considered " better than 
new,'* on account of their popularity. Hexameters fetch high 
prices, but Alexandrines are enormous. Those who are desirous 
of being at once laudatory and economical, are compelled to put 
the defunct on short commons : in these cases, an hour or so may 
be advantageously employed in searching for synonyms, and cull- 
ing the shortest epithets that can be found : — words of above 
two syllables being generally at a premium. This is the case, 



POSTHCUOUS VRAKK. S97 

also, it seenu, in tbe newspdper obituaries. Some sIioTt time 
ago, a gentleman called at the olEce of a popular morning paper, 
with an adTeTtiBement, snnoiiDeing the death of an old ladj, for 
insertion on the foUoning da;. He found the person to whom 
it was necessaiy to apply on tbia occasion, tatber more gruff, 
short, anapfush, and disagreeable, if poedble, than usual. This 
"brief-spoken and surly-burlj" personage, ai^r glancing (br a 
moment at the slip of paper on which the announcement was 
written, growled " Seven and aiipence." " Seven and siipence I " 
eiclaimed the gentleman :— " how ie that ? On the last occasion, 
when I had the melancholy duty to perform of announcing the 
death of a person in your paper, I paid only seven shillings." 
" Seven and sixpence ;— if you don't like it, don't leave it," said 
old Surly-burly. " Well, but allow me to ssk, what is the Oc- 
eanian of the difference of price f " " Why," said Surly-burly, 
frowning severely, " if I must gratify your curiosity, you've pnt 
in ' universally lamented ;' an& we always chai^ sixpence eitra 
for ' universally lamented.' " " Very well," said the gentleman, 
" there's the money ; and allow me to say, that I am quite certain 
no one will ever go to the additional expense for you." 



THE DOS-A-DOS TETE-A-TETE. 



Mt wife loathes pickled pork, and I hate ham ; 

I doat on pancakes — she likes fritters : 
And thus, alas I just like my morning dram, 

The evening of my life is dash*d wUh hitters / 

Old as we are, the ninnyhammer wants 
To teach me French, — and I won't learn it : 

My nightly path, where e'^ir I roam, she haunts, 
And grudges me my glass, though well I earn it. 

The other day, while sitting hack to hack, 
She roused me from my short, sweet slumbers. 

By taxing me at such a rate, good lack ! 
And summing up her griefs in these sad numbers 

" Though you lay your head thus agunst mine. 
You hate me, you brute, and you know it :— 

But why not in secret repine, 

Instead of delighting to shew it ? — 

You question my knowledge of French, 
And won't believe * rummage ' is cheese ; — 

Why can't you look cool on * the wench ?' 

. To me you're all shiver-de-Jreeze ! 

" When around you quite fondly Pve clung. 

You have oftentimes said in a rage, — 
' Such folly may do for the young, 
But I take it to be had-in-<ige /* 
A reticule-bag if I buy, 

(A trifle becoming each belle,) 
• At Jericho, madam,* you cry, — 
* I wish you and your hag-at-eUe ! ' 



"When I had in some cordialB, bo rich! — 

With letters all labell'd quite handy ; 
Says you, ' 111 inquire, you old witch, 

If O D V doesn't mean hrandy r 
Whenever I sink to repose. 

You rouse me, you wretch 1 with a snet 
And, lastly, if I dtx^-a-doae, 

To toex. me, you jiut wAw^e-d-icAMse" 



A TOAD IN A HOLE. 

Thb FnaTB of Fairoak were assembled in a dHimber ad- 
joining the great hall of their house : the Abbot was seated in 
his chair of emmence, and all eyes were turned on Father Nico- 
demus. Not a word was uttered, until he who seemed to be the 
object of so much interest, at length ventured to spea'k. " It be- 
hoveth not one of my years, perchance,** said he, " to disturb the 
silence of my elders and superiors ; but, truly, I know not what 
meaneth this meeting ; and surely my desire to be edifidd is 
lawflil. Hath it been decided that we should follow the example 
of our next-door neighbours, the Arroasian Friars, and, henceforth, 
be tongue-tied P If not, do we come here to eat, or pray, or hold 
council ? — ^Ye seem somewhat too grave for those bidden to a 
feast, and there lurk too many smiles about the fajces of many of 
ye, for this your silence to be a prelude to prayers. I cannot 
think, we are about to consult on aught ; because, with reverence 
be it spoken, those who pass for the wisest among us, look more 
silly than is their wont. But if we be here to eat — ^let us eat ; 
if to pray, let us pray ; and if to hold council, what is to be the 
knotty subject of our debate ? " 

" Thyself," replied the Abbot. 

" On what score ?" inquired Nicodemus. 

" On divers scores,** quoth the Abbot ; ** thy misdeeds have 
grown rank : we must even root them out of thee, or root thee 
out of our fraternity, on which thou art bringing contumely. I 
tell thee. Brother Nicodemus, thy offences are numberless as the 
weeds which grow by the way-side. Here be many who have 
much to say of thee : — speak. Brother Ulick ! *' 

" Brother Nicodemus," said Father Ulick, " hath, truly, ever 
been a gross feeder.** 

" And a lover of deep and most frequent potations,** quoth 
Father Edmund. 

" And a roamer beyond due bounds,** added Father Hugo. 

*' Yea, and given to the utterance of many fictions,'* muttered 
his brother. 

'^ Very voluble also, and not altogether of so stud aspect, as 



A TOAD IN A HOLE. 401 

beoometh one of his order and mellow years," drawled Father 
James. 

^* To speak plainly— a glutton," said the first speaker. 

*^ Ay, and a drunkard,*' said the second. 

^ Moreover, a night-walker,** said the third. 

** Also a liar,** said the fourth. 

*'PmaUy, a'babhler and a buffoon,** said the fifth. 

•' Ye rate me roundly, brethren," cried Nicodemus ; " and, truly, 
were ye my judges, I should speedily be convicted of these offences 
whereof I am accused ; but not a man among you is fitted to sit 
in. judgment on the special misfeasance with which he chargeth 
me. AjQd I will reason with you, and tell you why. Now, first, 
to deal with Brother Ulick — who upbraideth me with gross 
feedix^ : — ^until he can prove that his stomach and mine are of 
the same quality, clamour, and power digestive, I will not, with- 
out protest, permit hun to accuse me of devouring swinishly. He 
is of so poor and weak a frame, that he cannot eat aught but 
soppets, without suffering the pangs of indigestion, and the 
nocturnal visits of incubi, and more sprites than tempted Saint 
Anthony. It is no virtue in him to be abstemious ; he is en- 
forced to avoid eating the tithe of what would be needful to a 
man of moderate stomach ; and behold, how lean he looks ! Next, 
Brother Edmund hath twitted me with being a deep drinker : — 
now, it is well known, that Brother Edmund must not take a se- 
cond cup after his repast ; being so puny of brain, that if he do, his 
head is racked with myriads of pains and aches on the morrow, 
and it lieth like a log on his shoulder, — ^if perchance he be enabled 
to rise from his pallet. Shall he, then, pronounce dogmatically 
on the quantity of potation lawful to a man in good health ? I 
say, nay. Brother Hugo, who chargeth me with roaming, is lame ; 
and his brother, who saith that I am an utterer of fictions, hath 
a brain which is truly incompetent to conceive an idea, or to com- 
prehend a fact. Brother James, who arraigneth me of volubility, 
passeth for a sage pillar of the church ; because, having nought 
to say, he looks grave and holds his peace. I wHl be tried, if you 
will, by Brother James, for gross feeding ; he having a good diges- 
tion and an appetite equal to mine own : — or by Brother Hugo, for 
drinking abundantly; inasmuch as he is wont to solace himself 
under his infimuty, with a full flask :— or by Brother Ulick, for the 
utterance of fictions ; because he hath written a history of some of 
The Fathers, and adq^r^th the blossoms of the brain : — or by 



402 A TOAD tN A HOLE. 

Brother Kdmiiail, for not being sufficiently sedate ; as he is, troiy, 
a comfortable talker himtelf^and although forced to eschew inpnei 
of a most cheerful countenance. By Hugo^s brother I will be 
tried on no charge ; — seeing that he is, was, and ever will be — ^in 
charity I speak it— «n egregious fool. Have ye aught else to set 
up against me, brethren ?** 

^' Much more, Brother Nioodemus,** said the Abbot, ^' much 
more, to our sorrow. The cry of our vassals hath come up against 
thee ; and it is now grown so loud and frequent, that we are un- 
willingly enforced to assume our authority, as their lord and thy 
Superior, to redress their grieranoes and correct thy errors.** 

'^Correct me J" exclaimed Father Kicodemus; ^iWhy, what 
say the rogues ? Dare they throw blur, blain, or blemish on my 
good name ? Would that I might hear one of them I " 

^* Thou shalt be gratijGled : — call in John of the Hough.** 

In a few moments John of the Hough appeared, with his 
head bound up, and looking alarmed as a recently-punished hounil 
when brought again into the presence of him by whom he haa 
been chastised. 

'' Fear not,** said the Abbot ; " fear not, John o* the Hough, 
but speak boldly ; and our benison or malison be on thee^ as thou 
speakest true or false.** 

^Father Nicodemus," said John o* the Hough, in a toiob 
rendered almost inaudible by fear, ** broke my head with a 
cudgel he weareth under his doak.'* 

" When did he do this ?** inquired the Abbot. 

*' On the feast of St. James and Jude ; oft before, and sinee, 
too, without provocation ; and, lastly, on Monday se'nnight." 

*^ Why, thou strangely perverse varlet, dost thou say it was I 
who beat thee ?** demanded the accused friar. 
• " Ay, truly, most respected Father Nicodemus.*' 

'* Dost thou dare to repeat it ? I am amazed at thy boldness ; — 
or, rather, thy stupidity ; or, perhaps, at thy loss of memory. 
Know, thou naughty hind, it was thyself who cudgelled thee 1 
Didst thou not know that if thou wert to vex a dog he would snap 
at thee F---or hew and hack a tree, and not fly, it would fall on 
thee P — or grieve and wound the feelings of thy ghostly friend 
Father Nicodemus, he would cudgel thee ? — Did I rouse myself 
into a rage ? Did I call myself a thief P-^Answer me, my son ; 
did IP*' 

'^Nojtmly, Father Nicodemus*** . 



A TOAD IN A BOLE. 40S 

* IKd I threaten, if I were not a son of Holy Mother Church, 
to kkk myself out of thy house ? Answer me, my son ; did I P " 

'* No, truly, Father Nicodemus." 

^ Am I less than a dog, or a tree ? Answer me, my son ; 
ami?" 

•* No, truly. Father Nicodemus ; hut, truly, also—" 

" None of thy huts, my son ; respond to me with plain ay or 
no. Didst thou not do all these things antecedent to my break- 
ing thy sconce?" 

** Ay, truly, Father Nlcodemns." 

^ Then how canst thou say / heat thee ? Should I have 
carried my staff to thy house, did I not know thee to be a churl, 
and an enemy to the good brotherhood of this house ? Was I to 
go into the lion*s den without my defence ? Should I have de- 
meaned myself to phlebotomize thee with my cudgel, (and doubt- 
less the operation was salubrious,) hadst thou not aspersed me ? 
Was it for me to stand by, tamely, with three feet of Uackthom 
at my belt, and hear a brother of this religious order betwitted, 
as I was by thee, with petty larceny ? Was it not thine own 
breath, then, that brought the cudgel upon thy caput f Answer 
me, my son." 

** Lead forth John of the Hough, and call in the miller of 
Homf(^d," said the Abbot, belbre John of the Hough could 
reply. " Now, miller," continued he, as soon as the miller en* 
tered, ** what hast thou to allege against Uiis our good brother, 
Nicodemus?" 

** I allege," replied the miller, >* that he is naught." 

^*Oht thou especial rogue!" exeUdmed Father Nicodemus; 
** dost thou come here to bear witoess against me ? I will im- 
peach thy testimony by one assertion, which thou canst not gain- 
say ; for the evidence of it is written on thy brow, thou brawny 
villain ! Thou bearest malice against me, because I, some six 
yeaiiB.ago, inflicted a cracked crown on theCf for robUng this holy 
house of its lawful meal. I deemed the punishment adequate to 
tihe offence, and spoke not of it to the Abbot, in consideration of 
thy promising to mend thy ways. Hadst thou not well merited 
that mark of my attention to the interests of my brethren, the 
whole lordship would have heard of it* And didst thou ever say 
I made the wound ? Never : — thy tale was that some of thy mill- 
gear had done it. But I will be judged by any here, if the scar 
be not of my blackthom*s making. I will summon three score, 



404 A TOAD IS A BOLB. 

at least, wbo shall prove it to be my mark. Let it be viewed 
with that on the head of thy foster-brother, John of the Hough : 
— ^I will abide by the comparison. Thou hast hoarded malice in 
thy heart from that day ; and now thou comest here to yomit it 
fbrth, as thou deemest, to my undoing. But, be sure, caitifT, that 
I shall testify upon thy sconce hereafter : for I know thou art 
rogue enough to rob if thou canst, and fool enough to rob with so 
little discretion as to be easily detected ; and even if my present 
staff be worn out, there be others in the woods : — ergo — " 

"Peace, Brother N*icodemus ! " exclaimed the Abbot; "ap- 
proach not a single pace nearer to the miller ; neither do thou 
threaten nor browbeat him, I enjoin thee.'* 

" Were it not for the reverence I owe to those who are round 
me, and my unwillingness to commit even so trifling a sin,'* said 
Kicodemus, " I would take this slanderous and ungrateful knave 
betwixt my finger and thumb, and drop him among the hungry 
eels of his own mill-stream. I chafe apace : — lay hands on me» 
brethren ! — ^for I wax wroth, and am sure, in these moods, — so 
weak is man — ^to do mischief ere my humour subside.** 

" Speak on, miller," said the Abbot ; " and thou. Brother 
Nicodemus, give way to thine inward enemy, at thy peril.** 

" I will tell him, — an* you will hold him back and seize his 
staff," said the miller, — " how he and the roystering boatman of 
Frampton Perry — ^" 

" My time is coming,** exclaimed Nicodemus, interrupting the 
miller : " bid him withdraw, or he will have a sore h^id at his 
supper." 

"They caroused and carolled," said the miller, "with two 
travellers, like skeldring Jacks o* the flagon, until — ** 

" Lay hands on Nicodemus, all!** cried the Abbot, as the en- 
raged friar strode towards the miller ; — " lay hands on the mad- 
man at once ! *' 

"It is too late," said Nicodemus, drawing forth a cudgel 
from beneath his cloak ; " do not hinder me now, for my black- 
thorn reverences not the heads of the holy fraternity of fVdroak. 
Hold off, I say I *' exclaimed he, as several of his brethren roughly 
attempted to seize him ; "hold off, and mar me not in this mood ; 
ot to-day will, hereafter, be called the Feast of Blows. Nay, then, 
if you will not, I strike : — ^may you be marked, but not maimed ! " 
The friar began to level a few of the most resolute of those 
about him as he spoke. " I will deal lightly as my cudgel will 



A TOAD IN A HOLB. 40fi 

kt me," pursued he* ** I strike iadiscnminately, and without 
nudice, I protest. Ma^y blessings follow these blows I Brother 
Ulick, I grieve that you have thrust yourself within my reach. 
Look to the Abbot, some of ye, for, — miserable me !— I have laid 
him low. Man is weak, and this must be atoned for by fasting. 
Where is the author of this mischief ? Miller, where art thou ? " 

Father Ki^odemus continued to lay about him very lustily for 
several minutes ; but, before he could deal with the miller as he 
wished, Friar Hugo's brother, who was on the floor, caught him 
by the legs, and suddenly threw him prostrate. He was im- 
mediately overwhelmed by numbers, bound hand and foot, and 
carried to his own cell ; where he was closely confined, and 
most vigilantly watched, until the superiors of his order could be 
assembled. He was tried in the chamber which had been the 
scene of his exploits : the charge of having rudely raised his 
hand against the Abbot, and belaboured the holy brotherhood, 
was fully proved ; and, ere twenty-four hours had elapsed, Father 
Nicodemus found himself enclosed, with a pitcher of water and 
a loaf, in a niche of a stone wall, in the lowest vault of Fairoak 
Abbey. 

He soon began to feel round him, in order to ascertain if there 
were any chance of escaping from the tomb to which he had 
been consigned : the walls were old, but tolerably sound ; he 
considered, however, that it was his duty to break out if he 
could; and he immediately determined on making an attempt. 
Putting his back to the wall, which had been built up to enclose 
him for ever from the world, and his feet against the opposite side 
of the niche, he strained every nerve to push one of them down. 
The old wall at length began to move : he reversed his position, 
and with his feet firmly planted against the new work, he made 
such a tremendous effort, that the ancient stones and mortar gave 
way behind him : the next moment he found himself lying on 
his back, with a quantity of rubbish ahout him, on the cold 
pavement of a vault, vois> which suficient light glimmered, 
through a grating, to enable him to ascertain that he was no 
longer in any part of Fairoak Abbey. 

The tongue-tied neighbours to whom Nicodemus had alluded, 
when he broke silence at that meeting of his brethren which 
terminated so unfortunately, were monks of the same order as 
those of Fairoak Abbey ; among whom, about a century and a 
half before the time of Kicodemus, such dissensions took place» 



406 A TOAD nr a hole. 

that tfae beads of the order <were compelled to interfere ; and 
under their sanction and adTioe, two-and-twenty monks^ nvho 
were desirous of following the fine example of the Arroasians of 
Saint Augostin, — who neither wore linen nor ate flesh, and ob- 
served a perpetual silence,-— seceded frcnn the oommunity, and 
elected an Abbot of their own. The left-wing of Fsiroak Abbey 
was assigned to them for a residence, and the rents of a certain 
portion of its lands were set apart for their support. Their first 
care was to separate themselves, by stout walk, from all com- 
municadon with their late brethren; and up to the days of 
Kicodemus, no friendly communion had taken place between the 
Arroasian and its mother Abbey. 

Kicodemus had no doubt but that he was in one of the 
vaults of the silent monks : in order that he might not be recog- 
nised as a brother of Fairoak, he took off his Uack doi^ and 
hood, and even his cassock and rochet, and concealed them be- 
neath a few stones, in a comer of the recess from which he had 
just liberated himself. With some difficulty, he reached the 
inhabited part of the building : after terrifying several of the 
Arroasians, by abruptly breaking upon their meditations, he at 
length found an old white cloak and hood, arrayed in which he 
took a seat at the table of the refectory, and, to the amazement 
of the monks, tacitly helped himself to a portion of their firugal 
repast. The Superior of the community, by signs, requested him 
to state who and what he was ; but Nioodemus, pointing to the 
old Arroasian habit which he now wore, wisely held his peace. 
The good friars knew not how to act : — ^Nicodemus was suffered 
to enter into quiet possession of a vacant cell ; he joined in their 
silent devotions, and acted in every respect as though he had 
been an Arroasian all his life. 

By degrees the good monks became reconciled to his presence, 
and looked upon him as a brother. He behaved most discreetly 
for several months : but at length having grown weary of bread, 
water, and silence, he, one evening, stole over the garden*>wall, 
resolving to have an eel-pie and some malmsey, spiced with a little 
jovial chat, in the company of his trusty &iend, the boatman of 
Frampton Ferry. His first care, on finding himself at large, was 
to go to the coppice of Fairoak, and cut a yard of good blade- 
thorn, which he slung by a hazel gad to his girdle, but beneath 
his cassock. Resuming his path towards the Ferry, he strode 
on at a brisk rate for a few minutes ; when, to his great dismay, 



A TOAD Iir A HOLE. 407 

he heard the Bound of the bell which sammoBed the Airoaoftiis 
to meet in the dii^l of their Abbey. 

^*A mnirain on thj noisy tongue!" exclaimed Nicodemus, 
^ on what emergeacy is thy tail tugged, to make thee yell at this 
imwonted hour ? There is a grievous penalty attached to the 
offence of quitting the walls, either by day or by night ; and as 
X am now deemed a true Arroasian, by Botolph, I stand here in 
jeopardy ; for they will assuredly discover my absence. I will 
return at once, slink inta my cell, and be found there afflicted 
with a lethargy, when they come to search for me ; or, if occasion 
serve, join my brethren boldly in the chapel." 

The bell had scarcely ceased to toll, when Nicodemus reached 
the garden- wall again : he clambered over it, alighted safely on 
a heap of manure, and was immediately seized by half a score of 
the stoutest among the ArroasiaDs. Unluckily for Nicodenuis, 
the Superior himself had seen a figure, in the costume of the 
Abb^, scaling the garden-wall, and had immediately ordered the 
bell to be rung, and a watch to be set, in order to take the 
offender in the fact, on his return. The mode of administering 
justice among the ArroasiaBS, was much more summary than in the 
Abbey of Fairoak. Nicodemus was brought into the Superior's 
cell, and divested of his cloak ; his cassock w^ then turned down 
&om his belt, and a bull's-hlde thong severely applied to his back, 
before he could recover himsdf from the surprise into which his 
sudden capture had thrown him. His wrath rose, not gradually 
as it did of old, — but in a moment, under the pain and indignity 
of the thong, it mounted to its highest pitch. Breaking from 
those who were holding him, he plucked the blackthorn he had 
cut, from beneath his cassock, and without either benediction or 
excuse, silently but severely belaboured all present, the Superior 
himself not excepted. When his rage and strength were some- 
what exhausted, the prostrate brethren rallied a little, and with 
the aid of the remainder of the community, who came to their 
assistance, they contrived to despoil Nicodemus of his staff, and 
to secure him from doing further mischief. 

The next moiming, Nicodemus was stripped of his Arroasian 
habit ; and, attired in' nothing but the lin^i in which he had first 
appeared among the brethren, he was conducted, with very little 
ceremony, to the vaults beneath the Abbey. Every member of the 
ewnmunity advanced to give him a parting embrace, and the 
Bup^or pointed with his finger to a recess in the wall : Nicodemus 



406 A TOAD IN A HOLB. 

was immediately ushered into it, the wall was built up behind 
him^ and once more he found himself entombed alire. 

^But that I am not so strong as I was of jore, after the 
lenten fare of my late brethren," said Nicodemus, ^ I should not 
be content to die thus, in a coffin of stones and mortar. What 
luck hast thou here, Nicodemus ?** continued the friar, as, poking 
about the floor of his narrow cell, he felt something like a gar- 
ment, with his foot. ^^ By rood and by rochet, mine own attire ! — 
the cloak and cassock, or I am much mistaken,* which T left behind 
me when I was last here ; — for surely these are my old quarters ! 
I did not think to be twice tenant of this hole ; but man is weak, 
and I was bom to be the bane of blackthorn. The lazy rogues 
found this niche ready-made to their hands, and, truth to say, 
they have walled me up like workmen. Ah, me ! there is no soft 
place for me to bulge my back through now. Hope have I none : 
but I will betake me to my anthems; and perchance, in due 
season, I may light upon some means of making egress." 

Nicodemus had, by this time, contrived to put on his cassock 
and cloak, which somewhat comforted his shivering body, and he 
forthwith began to chant his favourite anthem in such a lusty 
tone, that it was faintly heard by the Fairoak Abbey cellarman, 
and one of the friars who was in the vaults with him, selecting 
the ripest wines. On the alarm being given, a score of the 
brethren betook themselves to the vaults ; and, with torches in 
their bands, searched every comer for the anthem-singer, but 
without success. At length the cellarman ventured to observe, 
that, in his opinion, the sounds came from the wall ; and the 
colour left the cheeks of all as the recollection of Nicodemus 
flashed upon them. They gathered round the place where they 
had enclosed him, and soon felt satisfied that the awful anthem 
was there more distinctly heard, than in any other part of the 
vault. The whole fraternity soon assembled, and endeavoured to 
come to some resolution as to how they ought to act. With fear 
and trembling. Father Hugo^s brother moved that they should at 
once open the wall : this proposal was at first rejected with con- 
tempt, on account of the known stupidity of the person with 
whom it originated ; but as no one ventured to suggest anything, 
either better or worse, it was at last unanimously agreed to. With 
much solemnity, they proceeded to make a large opening in the 
wall. In a few minutes. Father Nicodemus appeared before 
them, arrayed in his cloak and cassock, and not much leaner or 



▲ TOAD IN A HOLE. 409 

less rosy than when they bade him, as they thought, an eternal 
adieu, nearly a year before. The friars shouted, ** A miracle ! a 
miracle ! ** and Nicodemus did not deem it by any means neces- 
sary to contradict them. ^'Ho, ho! brethren,*' exclaimed he, 
*^ you are coming to do me justice at last, are you f By faith and 
troth, but you are tardy 1 Your consciences, methinks, might 
haye urged you to enact this piece of good-fellowship some week 
or two ago. To dwell ten months and more in so dark and 
solitary a den, like a< toad in a hole, is no child*8-play. Let the 
man who doubts, assume my place, and judge for himself. I ask 
no one to belieye me on my bare word. You have wronged me, 
brethren, much ; but I forgive you fireely." 

" A miracle 1 a miracle I " again shouted the amazed monks : 
they most respectfully declined the proffered familiarities of 
Kicodemus, and still gazed on huu with pro&und awe, even after 
the most incredulous among them were convinced, by the celerity 
with which a venison pasty, flanked by a platter of brawn, and a 
capacious jack of Cyprus wine vanished before him, in the refec- 
tory, that he was truly their Brother Nicodemus, and, still in the 
flesh. Ere long, the joUy friar became Abbot of Fairoak : he 
was dubbed a saint after his decease ; but as no miracles were 
ever wrought at his shrine, his name has since been struck out of 
the calendar. 



'I V 



THE PAIR OF PUMPS* 



" Whbbb is the pumps ?*' cried Mrs. Jones, 
" Where is the pumps, I say ? 
They cau*t be lost ; and, by the bones I 
m have them found to-day. 

*^ There is but three beneath the roof, 
That's master, you, and I ;— 
How they has waJked Til have good proof^ 
Or know the reason why. 

" Your master wore them this day week ; 
You knows he did, you jade ! 
That you're a thief, albeit so meek. 
In truth Fm half afraid. 

•* Don't answer me, you saucy minx I 
You're lazy as you're long ; 
At thousands of your £a,ults I winks, 
Although I knows 'tis wrong. 

" You looks the baker in the face. 
When he cgmes with the bread ; 
You trims your cap with shilling lace, 
And flirts with Butcher Ned. 

"You acts as though you thought yourself 
The fairest of the fair ; 
And seems to think that master^s pelf 
You're qualified to share. 

** Now don't deny it— huasy, don't ! 
For I has watched you long ; 
But I can tell you, Miss, you wonH 
WiD master with a song. 



THB PAIR OF PUMPS. 411 

** In vain at him yon sets your cap ; 
He*s not the sort of man ; 
With all your ogles bait your trap, 
And catch him if you can I 

** Beneath his roof, for fifteen years, 
Housekeeper I have been ; 
I cares not if my speech he hears — 
Ko wrong in me he^s seen. 

** I slaves like any Trojan TurL; 
I makes his bed and mine ; 
While you, you hussy ! does no work. 
And yet you dares repine I 

** Why don't you take a pattern by 
Tour master, slut, and me ? 
We never thinks a thought awry, — 
There is but few like we ! 

** The pumps was worn but this day week ; 
You knows they were, you jade ! 
That you're a thief, albeit so meek, 
In truth Pm half afraid. 



^ You stands accused of stealing them^- 
A very naughty sin ; 
And if you're hoity-toity, Me'em, 
m call the neighbours in ! 



'*» 



And hoity-toity Kitty was, 

She didn't care a pin I 
Says Mistress Jones, " I vow, that's poz ! 

I'll have the neighbours in I " 

And in she call'd them one by one. 
By two, and three, and four ; 

Such lots came in to see the ^n. 
The house could hold no more. 
2 s 2 



412 THB PAIR OF PUMPS. 

«'0h! what's the matter?** quoth th^ all, 
** And what is here amiss ?** 
Says Mrs. Jones, ^ Fray don*t yoa bawl ; 
My friends, the case is this : — 

" I keeps my master's boose ; and be, 
Good soul ! is half a£raid, 
That sfdte of all precaution, we 
Is robb*d by Kate, our maid. 

'^ Of all the lazy, idle drones 
That ever yet I knew. 
Not one could match,** says Mrs. Jones, 
" The girl you have in view. 

** In all the bouse three beds we makes, 
For master, she, and me ; 
Both master's and my own I takes. 
She does but one of three. 

" And though she grumbles, — yes, indeed, — 
That she is worked too much ; 
Yet she can oft her novels read^ 
Ay, and the likes of such. 

•• She won't by me a pattern take. 
Although full well she knows, 
In books 'tis said, ^ the wayward rake 
Ck)ntemns the gathered ZMe.' 

" Pve lost a pair of stockmgs, and 
About a week ago, 
Fd master's pumps in this here hand, 
A-looking at 'em so. 

•* I hung 'em up upon the pegs, 
I recollects it well ; 
How they has walked without their l^s, 
WsB Kate, perhaps, can teU.** 



TBI FAiK or PnifM. 

> False Un. Jones ! " yonng Kate replies, 
As fonrerd now she jumps ; 

** She irould not ask, were she but wise, 
If I had stal'ti the pumpa. 

" IlieK is but three bed* in the house, 
And Mn, Jones makes two ; 
We hsiTen't room t« slow a mouse i— 
So &r her story's true. 

** She bngs about ber wtne, but 
She's got a sill J head ; 
A week ago, the pumps I put 
In Mri. Joaeit btd .'" ■• 



WANTED A PAETNER. 

"Ah! now, Michael, be quiet, — vrhy can't 70U? — ^It brakes 
the heart o* me, eoniin, — bo it does thin, and TU own it, — to see 
you laugh that way, and the pair of us ruined^ as we are 1** 

" Ib It ruined, Thadj P-^^ond yourself there with a bull and a 
hog in your pocket P" 

" What's half*a»«TOwn and a shilling P A bull and a hog is 
but thiee-«nd*sizpence. — Fll be starved intirely whin that's 
gone ; for thane's no work for us, &r or near. I tell you we're 
ruined." 

"' Then let's go partners ; and who knows but we'll make a 
fine fortune P What's iuTention but the daughter of necessity P — 
So now's the time to shew our alnlities, if we have any." 

'' Divil of any abilities have I, Michael ; and you know it." 

** Ah I Thady, Thady— " 

"Til gire you my oath I hay'n't! — so don't be suspecting 
me. If rd abilities, do you think Td be such a blackguard as to 
consale them ? Not I, thin I " 

"Well but, Thady, boy, hav'n't you three-andHBozpenoe P — 
hav'n't you now?" 

" I have, — I won't deny it." 

« And hav'n't I abilities ?" 

" I won't deny that either, unless you're lost tiiem smoe we 
last saw one another, — ^that's two years ago, I think : — I wcm't 
deny but you've abilities, Michael ; if I did Td be giving you the 
lie ; for it's often you tould me yon had grand ones, if you'd only 
a field large enough to display them. But where'll we get a fid^d, 
big or little, for a bull ? I would'nt risk more than that of my 
money upon your abilities, — ^though it's much I respect them." 

" Tliady, you're a fool, with your big field and your bull !— 
Besides, Tve a reaping hook, and a long rope." 

" I see yoii have : but tell me, Michael, as we're spaking of 
reap-hooks and abilities, how did you lose your last place P Wasn't 
your master a good one P" 

"Say * employer,' Thady. the next time you mintion him. 
Well, thin, he wasn't so bad, but for two things : — being an 



WANTED A PARTNER. 415 

Englishman, he hadn*t exactly got into our mode of transacting 
things, don't you see, Thady ? — ^he stuck to the letter o' the law 
too closely for me." 

" You didn't roh him Michael, — did you ? " 

" Of a little time only, Thady : he*d too many eyes to he 
robhed of anything else, — ^if I was dishonest, — ^but Tm not, you 
know." 

** So I say, Michael, to erery one who spakas of you.** 

*' Thank you^ Thady, ior that i — and, faith ! the time I took 
wasn't worth noticing. He put me into a little patch of peas, and 
bid me reap them as fast as I could. So I began to work as though 
Fd the sttengtii of ten ; and he stood by me and tonld me I was 
a fine Mkm, I got on well enough till he wiot, and a while after 
even, — so I did4 But Td OYer*rated my own powers, and was soon 
obliged to lay down, just by the way of recruiting myself a little, 
under the hedge. By-and«by, who should be passing thait way 
'again but my employer ; and, says he, putting his toe in my ribs, 
*• What did you lie there for,' say^ he, * you blaekguaord ?' ' To 
repose a little^ sir,- saya L * Bad luck to you ! ' says he, * didn't 
I hire you to reap peas ?' * Well, sir,' says I, mimicking his way 
of spaking, * and isn't sleep a weary man's harvest ? and,' says I, 
quite pleasant, * if it isn't in sleep I'd reap ea^e^ how else would 
I ?' * Don't be quibbling that way,' says he ; I'll be obeyed to 
the very letter.' * Well, sir,' says I, * O's and P's ar'n't far apart ; 
they're next door to one another in the alphabet' But it wouldn't 
do for him ; he'd have the letter itself ; and if he paid me to reap 
peas, he wouldn't have me repose : so we part^. But don't let's 
be losing time : there's a rope and a reaping-hook, and they're 
mine, ar'n't they ? " 

'* I'd be wrong if I denied that, whin I see them in your hand, 
and possession is nine points of the law. But what of your rope 
and your reap^hook, Michael ? " 

*^Why, thiBy let them be our stock, and your three-and-six- 
penee our capital^ and us partners and sole and only proprietors. 
What say you to that ? Tou'U own it looks like business, I 
hope." 

" Yes, Michael ; but where'U the customers come from P " 

'* Don't bother about them ; they'll come fast enough when we 
want them, as youll see. It's no use to be reckoning our chickens 
before they're hatched, is it ?" 

'* Kot a Int : — ^what you say can't very soon find one that'll 



416 WAKTBD A PAtTNVR. 

oo&tndiet it. It if no use to be reckniiing our diidcens before 
they're hatched.** 

^ So far, thin, we go on by mntnal consint. Now, Thady, 
would you like to make a great stroke or a little one ?** 

^ The eooner we make money the better, I think.^* 

"• But little fishes are sweet, you fool ! " 

** So they are, Michael : Fm vexed that I didn't think of that ; 
and it*s but little well risk by way o' bait to catch thein.*' 

^ But what*s the use, Thady, — answer me now, you who set 
yourself up for a sinsible man — ^" 

" Not I, thin ! Td fall out with yon if you said so." 

" Well, thin, where's the use, T\\ ask you — ^fool as yon are,— 
of our catching sprats and wullawaughs, when there's sea-cows 
and whales in the ocean P — A sprat isn't a sea-cow, is it P** 

"No, faith!" 

" Nor a wullawaugh a whale ?" 

"How should it?" 

" Then why not try for a sea-cow ?" 

" Bekase I wouldn't Kke to risk my silver bull, Michael." 

•* Why, thin, you're a lunatic, — so you are. Suppose you lost 
your bull — tell me now, where'd your hog be ?" 

" Gone to try to bring back my bull, may be. I don't think 
well try for a sea-cow, or a whale, Michael." 

" Thin you'll be contint with catching wullawaughs and 
shrimps, is it ? " 

" Not exactly : Td like to try for a whale, but not so as to risk 
what money I have." 

" Well, ril tell you what we'll do : — let us set up a show." 

'* That plazes me. But what'U we shew, Michael ? Is it your 
reap-hook, that's worn out doing divil a ha'p'orth but going to 
the grinstone ?— or your rope, bekase you found it ?" 

" No, Thady ; that wouldn't do : but I think if you'd tar and 
feather yourself, I might make something of you, by swearing 
you were a monster, — a big bird I caught on a furze-bush with 
bird-lime." 

" m not consint to that ; for if you'd be showman, you'd take 
all the money." 

"And what thin?" 

" Suppose you took yourself off one day ?" 

"And what thin?" 

" Suppose you took the money with you, thin what'd I do ? 



WANTED A PARTNER. 417 

Siiie» yott know, I ooaldn't mn after you in my tar and feathers ; 
for, if I did, wouldn't the people see me without paying ? " 

^ That would be a loss, Til admit, if it happened : but Td have 
you to know, Thady — ^" 

^ Now don*t look big, for TU apologize : but I may spake my 
mind, I hope.** 

" You certainly may.*' 

*^ Well, thiii; I won*t tar and ^ther myself; bekase, howM we 
get tar and feathers to do it, without risking my bull, or my hog 
at the least?" 

'* Oh ! thin, if you'ye doubts in your mind, TU abandon the 
project ; but 111 insist upon it that you don't take advantage of 
my idea, and tar and feather yourself for your own benefit.** 

" I give you my word, I won*t ; — ^but listen, Michael, and 1*11 
tell you what we*ll do, and there's no risk in it.** 

" rd like to hear : — though 1 expect you'll be proposing to 
shoot the stars with a big bow and arrow, and sell them for 
diamonds." 

** Ihat wouldn't be bad, if we*d a bow and arrow that could do 
it ; but Pm afraid we'd find it hard to get one. That's not my 
plan, Michael ; but this is i^ : — ^there's a big hole, a stone's-throw 
fixHU this ; dark and deep it is, for I've looked down it ; and far 
below, a^ the very bottom, runs a stream, that goes under the 
waters, and under the land, away off to the Ked Sea : and it's often 
a big ould crocodile comes to it, for a day or so, in the summer, 
by the way of getting a change of air and retirement." 

"Well, Thady, and suppose he does ?" 

" Why, thin, this is my plan : — ^let us fiish for the crocodile, and 
make a show of him if we catch him." 

*♦ Arrahl Thady! I didn't think it was in you. But what*ll 
we do for a hook and line ? " 

"Haven't you your reap-hook and rope ? " 

" That's true, Thady, so I have ; but by way of a bait — ^you 
know crocodiles ates man's flesh, Thady." 

" I know it : and it's the beauty o' my plan, that we've bait, 
hook, and line, — all the materiaLs, without a penny expense." 

"Oh! I see: — fiaith! you're a genius, Thady : — ^you'dhaveme 
but the hook with yourself.'* - 

" Not a bit of it, Michael ; I couldn't separate you from your 
hook ; — ^I wouldn*t like to part with my money, ood why should 
I ask you to part with your hook P *' 



418 WANTED A PARTNBtt. ' 

^ But don't yoa see, lliady, I run all the risk f^-^m&y be Til 
lose my property ; — ^the eroGodile may €«rry it off. If we're to be 
partners, yoa must risk a little as well as me. Fll be my hook 
and my rope, with all the pleasure in life, if youll be yourself, — 
if you*ll let me tie you to them by the way of a badt." 

** Nonsinse, Miehael ! what good would I be ? Sure he feeds 
upon blacka— 4he crocodile does; and, fair as I am, he wouldn't 
know I was good to ate. Now, aa.yott'ye a fine dark complexion — " 

" No, I havn't." 

^ Faith ! you have ; — and it's what you're admired Ibr, by me 
among many : Td like to have it myself. Why, thin, as you're 
within a few shades of the raal thing, Inay be, in the dark, he'd 
take you for the raal thing." 

^ Oh I thin, crocodiles ar'n't bamboozled so aialy ; we'd better 
make sure, — and Fll tell how we'll do it ^~^^ll get some soot, and 
black you from head to foot.** 

« I'd be afraid, Michael." 

** What harm could happen you, man ? When he made his 
bite, wouldn't my reap-hook stick in his jaws and stop hitA from 
shutting them, until Td pidl him up ?" 

" Suppose he'd nibble and not bite ? — suppose, too, he'd untie 
the cord and make a meal of me, and then pick his teeth witb 
your reap-hook P" 

" ni tie the knot so that he can't : or, Pll tell you what well 
do ; — ^we'U toss up which of us shall be bait." 

" With all my heart :— but whatll we toss with ? " 

" Isn't it with your money ? You'll lend me your bull." 

" No, I won't lend you my bull, Michael." 

•* Well I toss your bull yourself, and let me have your hog." 

" I won't do that, either ; for I couldn't risk my money." 

" What ! do you suspect me P " 

*' Far from it ; but, as there's grass here, we might lose it, you 
know." 

" But ril be responsible ; and you can't doubt my honour." 

" Not a bit ; but — ^what's as bod, — ^I doubt your means. If I 
lost my bull, and you couldn't give me another if you would, that's 
the same thing to me as if you wouldn't give me another if you 
could, — don't you see ? " 

** Well, Tve another plan : and I think it must plaze you ;— 
did you ever throw a summerset P" 

"• I tried once, but didn't succeed." 



/ WANTS. t' : PARTNER. 41d 

" That's just my own cage ; so we're even, and it don't matter 
which does it. Now haork to this, Thady ; you'll throw your 
summerset as well as you can, and while you're throwing it, I'll 
cry ^head' or * tail,' just which I like : if I say * tail,' and you Ml 
on your head, it's you that wins«" 

^* No, Michael ; you must toss yourself; for Tre no, tail to my 
coat, and you have.'* 

'^Arrah, man! won't I lend you mine P Sure, we'll exchange." 

" Well, hut suppose I lost ?" 

" Thin you'd strip yourself, and Fd hlack you." 

"But why strip myself, Michael ?" 

"Don't the crocodiles always catch people that's swimming? 
And suppose they didn't, don't the hlacks go naked ? They do, 
Thady : so that if you were in your clothes, the crature coiddn't 
know you were a man, and we wouldn't catch him. If there was a 
fish that ate apples, you wouldn't hait your hook with a dumpling, 
would you?" 

" I wouldn't : still, I couldn't leave my clothes." 

"Why not, thin, eh?" 

" Bekase there's my hull and my hog in the pocket ; and Pd 
not like to risk them, with nohody on the hank, hut yourself, to 
take care o' them.'* 

" I don't know how it is, Thady, hut nothing plazes you ; — 
you're too particular by half." 

" Fm fool enough to be too fond of my money, Pm afraid." 

" Pm afraid you are : — ^but will I tell you what you'U do with 
it,— once for all now ? 

"What, Michael? 

" Why, thin, you'll just lend me two-and-sixpenoe, and Pll go 
and do something in the way of speculation with it ; so that, whin 
we meet again, Pll be able to give you back your bull, with some- 
thing handsome to the tail of it." 

" That's not bad, Michael : but Pd be afraid we wouldn't have 
the luck of meeting whin we'd wish. Who knows but one of us 
might be looking for the other, all over the wide world, like a 
needle in a bundle of hay ? " 

" Thady, is it trash your trying to talk ? People meets where 
hills and mountains don't, you know." 

" That's true : but Pve found out that though one meets 
with them one don't want to see nine times a week, one goes m 
whole year, and more, without getting a sight o' them one wishes 






4M VAMTSD A PIKTNBB, 

tocwneaenM. Whoknowi bot, if Iknt Tonmrbnll, theiigfat 
o' fOQ would be good tor sore ejea P — For that raaon. Til not lay 
you under tbe obligadou, I think, Michael." 

" Oh ! bad lock to yon, and every bit of you I Get out o' that, 
for I dim't like yon ; — giving people trouble, by "■wlHTig beliere 
you're a fool, whin all the while you ar'n't ! " 

** Pm beginniiiff to think you'd bad iutintioiM, MichaeL*' 

" Do yo« think Fd chate my aoniin P " 

"You would thin,— m say that for yoar BUlitlea,^if you 
eonid get anything by it. Ar'n't you trying to bully me out o' 
my bull f " 

" Get out o' that, I tell yon ! — go away intirely : — 1 disaolTE 
the partnenhip. Go at onoe, for Tin in a paMon." 

"Who carea for you, Kfichael f Go a¥rayyounelf. Til eng^e 
you'll find many*! the one who wants a partner that's active, and 
won't mind about cardial ; but I don't think he'U be a man of 
property. Why should yon erow over me, Td like to knowP — 
IB it bekue you'Te a cock in your eye F " 



HANDSOME HANDS. 

An elderly bachelor of my acquaintance is one of the warm- 
est admirers in the world of a beautiful female hand. *^ A fine 
hand," he will say, ^^ is a vastly fine thing, sir. As I always 
turned my attention very particularly to that part of the person, 
and have been king's page, and this, that, and t'other about a 
eourt, during many of my best years, the very finest of hands 
have fallen under my notice. Believe me, I am not at all cap- 
tious, but merely critical, or in a trifling degree historical, when 
I say, that your fine hands of the present day, are veiy different 
from the fine hands of the old school. My father was convinced 
that hands had degenerated since Charles the Second's time; 
but he could not help confessing that, in my time,^ — I mean, when 
he was seventy, and I was thirty — ^hands were still handsome. 
And, mark me, he spoke of hands generally : — ^but, adad I now^ 
if you meet with a fine hand once in a year or so, you're in luck, 
and ought to sacrifice a kid to Fortune. The fact is, that fine 
hands are very much talked about, but they are not properly 
cultivated ; true beauty of form is no longer understood or ap- 
preciated ; and the classical style of hand is, I fear, almost out of 
fashion. I am acquainted with two or three exquisite pair in town, 
and one, — ^its fellow, unfortunately, is deformed— one matchless 
hand at Putney. But nobody else admires them ; I have them 
all to myself ; and what is most provoking, these treasures, — ^these 
living and lovely reliques of a former age of grace and beauty, — 
these symbols of glorious pedigree, — these aristocratic heir-looms, 
are thrown away upon persons, who, if it were not for a spice of 
self-love, and that they're their own, would deem them but 
middling specimens. They positively try to coax them out of a 
beautiful into a bcurbarous style, so as to make them look like 
those of their neighbours, which the senseless young fellows of 
the modem school have the bad taste to admire. There never, 
perhaps, was a woman with such delighful hands as the charming 
AureUa Fettigrew, afterwards Mrs. Watts, of Grange Hill, sub- 
sequently Mrs. Jervis, of Eton ; whom I attempted at once to 
console and immortalize, by a copy of verses, written on the 



422 HAND80MB HANDS. 

oocanon of her haTing met with an accident, from an awkwaid 
waiting-woman*8 sdaeon, whidi produced a sli^t, but, in the 
opinion of many, a pleasing and piquant obliquity of the visual 
organ. These are the stanzas : — * 

'* ' When. Chloe wandered o'eir the meadi 
To pluck the grateful flower ; 
Strephon and every shepherd swain, 
Confess'd her beauty's power. 

Bnamour'd Celia, gazing knelt, 

And soon resign'd his breath ; 
While each fond youth ambitious sighed, 

To die BO sweet a death. 

Two torn the earth oonld ne'er endure, 

Nor man her double glance ; 
So nature bade the right blaze on, 

And tum'd the left askance/ 

" I did not sing the charms of her hands, for they were 
above all praise : — small, plump, and graceful, with tapering fin- 
gers, and dimples where the knuckles lay, which, to the eye of 
fancy, seemed to smile like those in Love*s own cheek. Miss 
Pettigrew was not of a very excellent figure; nor had she, 
with the exception of her eyes, particularly beautiM features ; 
but her hands were matchless I They won her one husband, and 
many hearts, — ^my own among them, — at nineteen ; and another 
husband with more than one suitor, — ^I was among *em, again— ^ 
when she was a widow, at forty. There are some Goths and 
Yandals, who would have their nails half as long as the fin- 
gers : — filbert-nails, I think is the term for such pretended beau- 
ties ; which, in my opinion, bear a striking resemblance to the 
convex side of the bowl of a horn spoon. But, though I consider a 
deep margin to a nail vulgar in the extreme, and would never, 
on any account, suffer its disk to peep over the Aurora-tinted 
horizon of the finger's summit, yet, understand me, I am no ad- 
vocate for cutting them down to the quick. Of the two extremes, — 
a woman who pares her nails to the skin's edge, and a Chinese 
lady, who suffers hers to shoot forth into talons, I know not 
which is the more provoking. The Chinese female has at least 
the custom of the country in her favour ; her, therefore, I have 
no right to blame, because it occurs that I am not a Chinese : 
but if I meet with one of my countrywomen, with claws at the 



HANOSOMB HANDS. 423 

ends of her finders, I ilwhys long to call in a gardener or a sheep^ 
shearer, with the neoessary implement to prune or clip them down 
to a state of decorum. I do not possess sufficient talent to invent 
an appropriate and adequate punishment for a lady who is so 
enamoured with ugliness as to bite her nails. For her friends* 
sake, she ought to cannibalize in private, and conceal the revolt- 
ing relics of her feast by wearing gloves, even in the presence of 
her most intimate friends. Those little machines which look like 
old gloves cropped to the knuckles, are gross outrages upon 
taste : they are called, I believe, mittens ; and many excellent 
young ladies wear them, particularly in the country, during cold 
weather. The sight of a hand in one of these things invariably 
produces an emotion of pity in my bosom for the four long, cold, 
naked fingers, which protrude from the sockets of the stalls. In 
the matter of gloves, w(»nen are frequently so rash and incon- 
siderate, as * to make the judicious grieve.' I have told every 
lady, with whom I have the honour to be intimate, and who has 
happened to have large, ignoble hands, that she ought not to 
wear tight gloves ; I have declared, on the honour of a gentle- 
man, that they increase rather than diminish the apparent size of 
the hand : but my preaching has never proved of much effect. 
A lady with an excellent, or even a good hand, should never 
have a wrinkle in her glove ; but it is an absurd notion of many, 
that mere tightness is perfection : on the contrary, a glove that 
is well adapted to the hand never appears tight, but fits smooth 
and unwrinkled as the fair skin which It conceals. The kid 
should lie close against the palm of the hand ; the fingers should 
have no awkward bags at their extremities, and no bridges be- 
tween their bases ; indeed^ the glove should fit as though it were 
an admirable mould, endowed with such elasticity as to assume 
every variety of form into which graceful action can possibly 
throw the hand. It, doubtless, has been to many persons, as well 
as to myself, a matter of astonishment, that the thousand and 
one elegant and delicate pieces of workmanship, in various ma- 
terials, which seem to be fashioned by the exquisite fingers of a 
Belinda, are found, on inquiry, to be the productions of huge 
awkward paws, apparently fit only to wield flails and pull about 
blocks of granite. A celebrated frizeur, whose name I won't 
mention, has a very laudable antipathy to what he terms * huge- 
ous hands :' — ^he is a little lax in his language, but a very good 
frizeur for all that. Some years ago, he wanted a few assistants 



434 RAMDSOHB HAITDI. 

in hi* tuur-cattiiig Tooma ; and inserted aa idTertiaenieiit in the 
paper to that effect Among other applicBata there was a good- 
looking youth, whoM ippeaisuce, and aniwers to the preliminary 
qneatJODB put on nich octaooiu, were highly Battsfactory. ' Will 
your kit master gire yoa a character for dvility P* inquired the 
hsJr-dresMr. The boy answered in the afBmiatiye. ' Well, and 
where are your glores, young geDtleman f ' ' I don't wear any, 
■tI' * Not wear gloTca t I protest, I never heard of rach a ttni^ 
in all my bom cbtys. Take yonr bands out of your breechea 
pockets^ then, boy, and let me inspect th^n.' The boy, with 
some diffienlty, produced a pair of rather large and very high- 
eolonred hands, and artlessly exhibited them to the frixenr. 
' Oh 1 go away, boy — go away,* exclaimed the latter, reeoUing 
three paces from the tpeetacle ; * yon wtm't suit me at all : the 
advertisement parttenlarly SMd, Wanted a few good handt, yoa 
know. It's not posuble for me to take a young man into my 
establishment, with great, large, red lril« of bee^ h«jiging out at 
' the ends of his coat sleeres. — Goalongl'" 



MISLED BY A NAME. 

It was my fortune to pass a portion of my youth at a celebrated 
watering-place, to which it was the fashion, at that time, with the 
faculty, in all parts of the kingdom, to consign their patients, 
usually in compliance with the desires of the latter, when medicine 
could be of no more avail ; and there was such a constant influx 
of pale people of fortune, who were buried within so brief a period 
after the announcement of their arrival, that I sincerely pitied 
persons of opulence, because they seemed to be Death's favourite 
prey. Burials occurred so frequently, that at least a tithe of the 
inhabitants were undertakers. 

It was really laughable to witness the intrigue that took place 
in the event of a death. The funeral was generally bespoke, even 
before the patient had been given over by the resident physicians : 
the sick gentleman's grocer, his tailor, his shoemaker, the master of 
the inn where he had put up on his arrival, the person in whose 
house he was expiring, the barber who shaved him when he was no 
longer able to shave himself, his butler, who had become tainted 
with the mania of the place, and the man over the way, whose wife 
was a laundress, were all undertakers in disguise, and sighing for 
his dissolution. This is a true sketch of the state of things some 
years ago, at , and, doubtless, at many other equally cele- 
brated resorts of the afflicted. The various candidates for " a 
black job," — ^that was the technical term, — frequently formed a 
coalition of interests. One of the party was nominated to bury 
the deceased, and divide the profits among all. Bribery to the 
domestics, in these cases, was carried on to a shocking extent ; 
for the resident tradesmen of the place, rendered callous by 
custom, purchased the votes of every in^vidual who was likely 
to have any voice in the election of an undertaker. Humorous 
mistakes frequently occurred in the ardour of the pursuit, and in 
the rivalry existing between the real gentlemen of the hearse, and 
those who were constantly on the alert to obtain a share of their* 
profits. A case occurs to my recollection, which may, perhaps, be 
deemed not altogether devoid of interest. 

An .undertaker, who had received intelligence from one of the 

2 E 



426 MISLED BT A NAME. 

numerofofl jackals of the place, that die doctOTB had reoeived their 
last fee from the friends of a patient, who lodged at Mr. B.*8 house 
in a certain crescent, immediately repaired to the scene of action. 
He knocked at the door, but the footman (haying received a bribe, 
and very particular instructions from a rival undertaker, who had 
purchased the same intelligence a few moments earlier ^cdki the 
same identical jackal, and who was then in the pantrjr, ttying to 
buy over the butler,) told him that he had mistaken the number ; 
that his master was perfectly well ; and that, in all probabtHty, the 
gentleman who was dying, lived at Mr. B.'s other lodging-house, 
No. 7, in the same crescent. 

" Do you know his name ?" inquired the undertaker. 

** The Reverend Mr. Morgan," replied the footman. 

" Do you know his servant ?" 

*^ Yes ; he's a thick-set man, with a shght cast ia his eye.** 

« In or out of livery ?*• 

" Out.** 

" May I use your name f 

" With all my heart, on your tipping the usual.** 

'^ There's a crown ; it's all speculation, — neck or nothing ; so 
I can't afford more. What's your name ? ** 

" I am Sir Joseph Morgan's under-butler." 

" Thank you ; — good day : — but stop, allow me to trouble you 
with a dozen of my cards ; a judicious use of them may pay you : 
I come down handsomely, and you may make it worth your 
while, as well as mine, should anything occur in your fitmily. 
Will you do what you can ?" 

" With pleasure." 

" Much obliged : and, — d*ye hear ? — ^here's another : if you 
know of any house where the ravens roost, — ^you understand me — 
stick it in the frame of the house-keeper's looking-glass. Good 
morning ! " 

The Reverend Mr. Morgan, to whose lodgings the under-butler 
had referred the undertaker, was a middle-aged gentleman, lately 
married, and in daily expectation of having an heir to his name and 
the little freehold which his uncle had devised to him in the county 
of Brecon. He was just the sort of man that the under-butler 
had in his eye, when describing his servant. As the undertaker 
approached the door of No. 7, the reverend gentleman, in his 
usual neat, but homely dress, made his appearance. The under- 
taker, suspecting that he was the servant, accosted him the moment 



MISLED Vr A NAME. 427 

he had closed the door behind hun, and the following dialogue 
ensued : — 

^ Your mort obedient, sir.** 

" Yours, sir ; — I ask pardon, but as I am in a hurry — ^" 

" One moment—" 

'* Really^ sir, if you knew the situation of affairs — '* 

" I do, sir ; — ^I do, indeed," 

"No!" 

"Yes!" 

" Well, iVs rather odd. But I cannot stand here gossipping. 
Mrs. Morgan — ** 

" Ah I poor dear creature ! but these things will happen, you 
know : — ^transitoiy life — sublunary world — sad mortality — yale 
of tears I — Groing for the doctor ?" 

" No, not just yet ; but—" 

" Ah ! still the event is pretty certain, I believe." 

" Why, yes ; I flatter myself it is." 

" Good. Fardbn me for being intrusive, my dear friend ; but 
it lies in your power to do me a favour, I think : will you P" 

" Oh ! yes,— anything ; — ^provided it costs me nothing." 

" Not a penny : — you'll be in pocket by it. But, before I ex- 
plain, allow me to ask, — have you any interest with, or influence 
over Mrs. Morgan ? Be candid." 

" Why, sir, I think I ought to have." 

" Oh ! I see : — a managed matter ; — a candidate for dead men's 
^ihoes, eh ? — ^Ah I you sly dog I " 

"Sly dog I" 

" You'll soon be master, I guess." 

" I hope so ; I have been long trying for it." 

" Ha, ha I I know it. Oh ! I can see things. But now^ to 
business : — ^the fact is, Tm a professional man." 

"Oh! are you?" 

"Yes, — ^you understand: — and as soon as any thing occurs, 
call me in ; and Til make matters agreeable to you." 

" But Mrs. Morgan, — she must be consulted : I'm just going 
to see a gentleman on this very business." 

" To be sure Mrs. M. must be consulted I Far be it from me 
to think of intrudrag myself without her permission. But you 
can use your influence. A word in your ear : I'm empowered to 
mention the name of Sir Joseph Morgan's under-butler. Manage 
it well, and TU tip you a five pound note." 

2 s 2 



IU(^ lUUBb UC UUIJC WMU UCQUl UUlf JTUU AAOW ** 
ft 



428 MI8LBD BT A NAMB. - 

' Sir Joseph Morgan*! under-builer I Me ? T^ me ? ** 

'* Oh, honour ! honour anMMig thieres, you know. Ha, ha ! 
Ilarkf e ; — ^the moment he goes off--** 

"Goes off I Who?" 

*^ The parson.— I sa/, the moment he goes off--** 

"Ah!** 

" Smuggle me up to his wi^ 

"ToMw-M.? Smuggle you? 

" Oh I these things must be done inth decorum, you knew. 

« Well, but^ 

" Leave me to manage the rest. I flatter myself that my talest 
and experience will ensure us the desired snooen. Act well your 
part, and depend upon it I shall be the happy man.** 

"The happy man!** 

" Ay ; see him home, as we say.** 

" See who home ?** 

" Why, M., to be sure.** 

"M.?** 

" Yes. Really, though, now I look at you, you don*t seem to 
follow my ideas exactly.** 

" Kot with that precision which I could wish.** 

" Fsha 1 In plain English, then, — ^the parson being about to 
kick the bucket — ^** 

" Kick the—** 

" Ay, — ^hop the t¥rig,— or pop off the hooks : — pick and choose, 
Tve a variety.** 

" And pray, sir, what may his kicking the bucket be to you ?** 

" Thirty pounds, at least, if his widow*s a trump, and things 
turn out kindly.** 

" Tm quite in a fog ! — ^Pray, sir, who and what are you ?*' 

" Didn*t I say I was a professional man — ^an undertaker ?** 

" Oh I you*re an undertaker, are you ?** 

" At your service.** 

" Thank you. And so you think of seemg M. home, do you ? ** 

" Yes ; box him up, as we say ; — Ha, ha I ** 

" And Fm to have five pounds — " 

" Exclusive of the usual jollification on the occasion, with the 
mutes and mourners ; and an additional guinea, if you think 
proper to officiate with a black stick and hat-band. Full your hat 
over your eyes, hold a white pocket-handkerchief to your face, and 
nobody will know you : — ^that*s the way to manage. Ha, ha I ** 



mSLBD BT A NAKB. 429 

"Very good; Terygood, indeed. H», ha!" 

" H», ha I But come — what B»y yoQ to a cheerM glass on 
this melancholy occasion f Scnrow H dry, yon know ; — m he ■ 
bottle." 

" Yon're very good. And m> you're ui undertaker, after all, 
are yoa P" 

" To he sure I am : — come along." 

" And Tm to smnggle you up to MJs. M., eh ? — Ha, ha !— 1 
must say I admire your mode of dcang bnsinest mnch." 

" Tact, my dear fellow, — tact and decorum ; I display ru> other 

f* Tour gay manner, too—" 

" Yea ; ' we're the lada fbr life aad joy,' as the song say*. Fm 
naturally cheerful ; but when I tbel pretty sure of my man — as I 
now do — oddsheart 1 Tm w merry as a grig. Take my arm." 

The undertaker marched off in triumph with his suppoaed 
prey leaning on his arm, towards a neighbouring tavern ; bnt 
whether the reverend gentleman blighted his hopes by an early 
explanation, or ibrgot Mrs. M. for a few moments longer, and 
partook of the proffered bottle, " the chroiiicler cannot state." 



THE LAST MAN. 



In mj little parlour, where, 

Seated in an easy chair, 

At the dull decline of day, 

Oft I doze an hour away ; — 
Yester-eve I had a dream, 

Of such seeming misery, 
That, at last, my own loud scream, 

Roused me to reality : 
And, though strange my say may seem, 

Sleep rd rather never more. 

Than bear again what then I bore. 



Time, methought, was. journeying fast : 

Years, like moments, fleetly passed ; 

Still on they flowed, — ^behind, — ^before. 
Across what seemed a dismal sea. 

To break like billows on the shore 
Of measureless Eternity. 



From all his leaden clogs released. 
Anon, the speed of Time increased ; 
Till even light could scarcely vie. 
With the speed of a passing century. 
The hills were grey, — ^the world was old ; 
Its hour was come, its sands were told ; 
The knell of a million years had rung ; 
And I, alone, continued young. 



THE LAST MAN. 43] 

And, now, the work of woe began, 

Despair through every bosom ran ; 

Death stalked abroad in open day, 

And, visibly, attacked his prey : 

No more by slow disease he work'd. 

Or in the cup of nectar lurk'd ; 

No host was now in battle slain, 

No man set up, — ^a butt for Fain 

To shoot her lingering arrows through *, 
No more the earth- devoured a town ; 

But Death walk'd openly in view. 
And, with his scythe, moVd myriads down. 



I dos'd my eyes, — I saw no more, 

Until a voice close to my ear, — 
A voice I ne*er had heard before, 

(So dismal that I quail*d with fear. 
And utter'd that wild horrid scream, 
Which rous*d me from my wretched dream .) 
Bade me awake, methought, and see 
Him, whose doom it was to be, 

The last of human kind ! 



An awful form before me stood, 
Whose aspect boded aught but good : 
His looks were grim, his locks were grey ; 
He seem*d like one near life's last goal ; 
And thrice, methought, I heard him say, 
< That he came to cast my soul ! 



My sight grew dim, I gasped for breath ;- 

(For who can brave a sudden death ?)— - 
A moment's fearful pause ensued. 

Then he, — ^the object of my dread, — 
Addressed me thus in accents rude ; 

I listened, less alive than dead. 



TBB LAST KAN. 

" Fve Mid it once, Pve loid it twice, 

Pve raised my voice, and 8wd it thrice : 
My time is short, — Fve nrocli to do ; — 

Fve lately lost my brother ; — 
I cannot wait all night on you. 

For I miut caM another. 
To make your boot fit well, a tree 

Yon'vB ordered, as Fm told ; 
And, once again, I say, in me, 

The latt-mdu yon behold." 



u)